Key Questions: Evaluating CEO Performance

Attorney Eileen Morgan Johnson ( has developed a list of key questions for the Board and the CEO that can be helpful in a CEO performance review process.

Questions for the Board

  • Did the CEO meet the goals that were agreed on between the board and the CEO at the beginning of the year?
  • In what ways did the CEO excel this past year?
  • In what areas can the CEO improve next year?
  • Did the CEO move the organization forward in terms of mission, resources, public attention, and other identified objectives?
  • Has the organization made progress overall compared to the prior year?
  • If the organization has not progressed as expected, were any factors involved that were beyond the CEOfs control?
  • How are the relationships between the full board and the CEO and between the executive committee and the CEO?
  • Do the board and the CEO balance their responsibilities with the board providing leadership and the CEO providing management?
  • Does the board support the CEO?
  • Is the CEOfs compensation reasonable when compared to that of other executives in the geographic area with similar duties, staff sizes, budgets, years of experience, education, etc.?

Questions for the Nonprofit CEO

  • Did you meet your stated goals for the year? If not, why not?
  • What were your achievements this year?
  • What things did you struggle with this year?
  • What lessons did you learn this year?
  • How has the organization moved forward this past year?
  • How are your relationships with the full board and the executive committee?
  • Do you and the board balance your responsibilities with the board providing leadership and you providing the management of the organization?
  • Does the board support you?
  • How can the board do better in supporting you in the year ahead?
  • Is your compensation fair and reasonable?