Diversified Search Group Appoints Leaders for Education Practice

Diversified Search Group (DSG) has announced that managing directors, Jim Sirianni, and Susan VanGilder, will co-lead the firm’s education practice following the retirement of its current leader, Shelly Storbeck,  who will remain with the firm as a strategic advisor. “Over the last three years, our education practice has grown significantly, and it’s a testament to Shelly’s leadership and our tremendous team who serve as trusted advisers to some of the nation’s most prestigious educational institutions,” said Aileen Alexander, CEO of Diversified Search Group. “We are delighted that Susan and Jim will be leading our highly recognized education practice. They will work closely with our colleagues to continue delivering high-quality service and outcomes for our clients.”

“Since founding Storbeck Search in 2008 and through its acquisition by Diversified Search Group in 2020, I have been enormously proud of the work that my colleagues and I have accomplished together in service of higher education and independent schools,” said Ms. Storbeck. “I am turning toward this next chapter with a full heart and great confidence in my dear colleagues Jim and Susan.”

For more than two decades, Dr. Sirianni has developed an understanding and a reputation in higher education. His background includes leadership roles in professional development programming for presidents, provosts, and chief business officers and teaching higher education leadership and management. Before entering executive search, Dr. Sirianni led professional development programming for presidents, provosts, and chief business officers at the American Council on Education (ACE).

With over 30 years of executive search experience, Ms. VanGilder has placed leaders for various higher education and non-profit institutions worldwide. She has led searches for presidents, provosts, vice presidents, deans, and senior leaders in a broad range of institutions, and has a high level of repeat work with clients. Ms. VanGilder is based in the District of Columbia metro area but has lived and worked in Hawaii, Germany, and Belgium.

As a strategic advisor to the education practice, Ms. Storbeck will work closely with Dr. Sirianni, Ms. VanGilder, and the rest of the team. Diversified Search Group’s education practice focuses on executive-level searches on behalf of colleges, universities, independent, charter, boarding schools, and education-related non-profit organizations. In 2021, 46 percent of its placements were persons of color, and 56 percent were women.

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