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This nomination-only program, established in 2008, and co-sponsored with The National Academy of Human Resources is the premier development program committed to preparing accomplished HR leaders to step into the CHRO role. Today’s CHRO must masterfully balance meeting the business and workforce needs of today, with looking around the corner to help navigate their companies into the future. This program provides you with the opportunity to interact in candid discussions with experienced CHROs, board of director members, and CEOs - gaining a rare, insider's view into the multifaceted role of today's top HR executive. The program – also known as Top Seat – is designed to expose you to how CHROs set strategy, address challenges, manage stakeholders, and minimize risks for each element related to a company’s performance, talent, culture, brand, and employee experience.

Curriculum (Focus Areas)

Join discussions with leading CHROs who will share their personal journeys, insights, challenges, and experiences. In this program, you will:

  • Understand the key skills required to succeed and how the CHRO role stands apart from other HR leadership positions
  • Learn the full range of CHRO responsibilities (e.g., talent strategy, CEO succession, executive compensation, counseling/coaching CEO/ELT) and how to effectively deliver and balance these responsibilities
  • Gain insights on building and managing effective relationships with the HR team, CEO, C-suite peers, Board of Directors, and external stakeholders
  • Enhance your understanding to advise and coach others regarding human capital and talent strategy decisions

Benefits and features

In addition to networking and benchmarking with your peers, you will have the opportunity to reflect and to take meaningful action within your own organization by developing a 90-day action plan for assessing and leading the HR function.

Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a joint certificate of completion from The School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and The National Academy of Human Resources. You will also gain access to a unique program alumni network.

kevin cox, cahrs, chro

“I’ve found the Modern CHRO Role program to be exceptional in its approach, which is grounded in developing and preparing the next generation of CHROs. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of teaching many aspiring HR leaders in the program, sharing my experiences, as well as the strategic aspects of the CHRO role that are compelling and distinctive. I continue to nominate high-potential HR leaders to the program as a part of accelerating their development, engaging with broader networks and advancing the business impact of the HR function.”

Kevin Cox
Chief Human Resources Officer, GE
Advisory Board Member, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies

Dates and Price

This in-depth program is limited to 25 participants to maintain an interactive and intimate setting. Attendance at both in-person sessions in New York City and participation in the live-virtual sessions is required. We expect participants to engage throughout the entire program to maximize their learning and relationship building within the cohort.

Now accepting nominations for the 2024-2025 cohort:

Program Dates:

Nov 13-14, 2024 in-person in NYC
March 12-13, 2025 in-person in NYC


Program cost: $14,500. (CAHRS partner organizations receive a discount.)

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for high-potential HR executives who:

  • Report to the CHRO
  • Have at least 15 years of HR experience and are ready to assume the top HR position within a few years, or
  • Have been already named as successors to their organization's current CHRO


People must be nominated to attend this program by their CHRO or CEO. Companies can nominate up to two individuals per program.

The program's registration process consists of:

  1. A CHRO or CEO nomination letter
  2. An executive biography of the nominee, along with photo and company logo

Qualified candidates are admitted on a rolling, space-available basis. Early applications are encouraged. Please email applications to Elona Pira, Program Manager, at