1. Work Positions

What to look for: Where does the person currently work? Where did they used to work? What other corporate boards do they belong to now/have they belonged to in the past? Do they hold any other advisory or executive positions? For lawyers, lobbyists, and financiers: who are their clients?

Where to find it: Google, LittleSis.org, the official website of the person’s company or other organizations they are part of (try doing a site search!), LinkedIn, or the SEC’s EDGAR database.

When looking at Google search results, try to refer to legit sites, such as company biography pages or profiles and news articles from credible business and/or news sites (Forbes, Bloomberg, New York Times, etc.)

Reading Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Filings for Publicly Traded Companies

Publicly traded companies are required to file various reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC oversees a public database called EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval) where you can access these reports, which can be a treasure trove of information about powerful corporations, including biographies of their executives and board members. 

There are several helpful guides for navigating the SEC’s EDGAR database:

When power researching a specific individual, once you know what corporation they are a top executive for or are on the board of, try searching for that corporation in EDGAR. Then bring up the company’s DEF 14A (i.e. “proxy statement”), where a biography for the individual will be listed.

2. Non-profit Positions