Odgers Berndtson Opens New Practice, Hires Two New Professionals

Odgers Berndtson has opened a Corporate and Government Affairs Practice in the United States, bringing in Conrad Woody as a partner and practice leader. The firm has also hired Kimberley Wende as a principal in its Houston office, bolstering its Human Resources and Energy Practices.

“We’re really excited to have Conrad on the team in Washington D.C.,” said Steve Potter, CEO of Odgers Berndtson U.S. “Corporate and government affairs recruiting is an increasingly urgent market segment, and we think Conrad is the right person to build out our capacities in the space.”

As Head of the U.S. Corporate and Government Affairs Practice, Mr. Woody will specialize in senior placements for companies, trade associations, and non-profits in the government affairs, corporate communications, public affairs, and economic development verticals. He comes to the firm from Korn Ferry where, as a Principal in the Corporate Affairs Practice, he conducted senior level searches for corporate communications, government affairs, trade association, and nonprofit professionals. In a previous role at Korn Ferry, Mr. Woody executed government affairs searches for major corporations and trade associations in a broad array of industries, and led the firm’s D.C. offices in successful placements for three consecutive years. Mr. Woody began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he was a member of the Firmwide Diversity Recruiting Team. He has a B.S. from Howard University and is a board member of the nonprofits Step Afrika! and Starting With Today Inc. He will be based in Washington D.C.

“It's a critical time in Washington,” said Derek Wilkinson, Head of Odgers Berndtson’s International Development Practice and leader of the Washington D.C. office, “and it’s increasingly necessary that corporate leaders be equipped to address political, public affairs, and reputational challenges. To meet this demand, we’re delighted to be strengthening our presence in the corporate and government affairs space. Conrad has a solid reputation in the market and we’re confident that he’ll extend our corporate affairs and government relations reach in Washington and throughout the U.S."

Ms. Wende joins Odgers Berndtson’s HR and Energy Practices from HrQ, a boutique search firm specializing in HR search, staffing, and consulting, where she was a Managing Consultant. Ms. Wende was previously a Senior Associate at Preng & Associates, focusing on the E&P and oilfield services industries, and a Senior Associate at Boyden Executive Search, where she focused on the oil and gas, professional services, and consumer products industries. She began her search career with the Alexander Group, and has a B.S. in Political Science from Texas A&M University.

For more than 50 years, Odgers Berndtson has delivered executive search, leadership assessment, and development strategies to the world’s biggest and best organizations. Odgers Berndtson’s 250+ partners cover more than 50 sectors and operate out of 59 offices in 29 countries. The U.S. wing of the firm launched in 2011 and is one of the fastest growing search firms in the Americas. Odgers Berndtson currently has U.S. offices in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington DC.