Diversity Leadership Council
The AESC Diversity Council is comprised of representatives from AESC member firms. Our Council was founded to ensure we progress the mission laid forth in the AESC Diversity Pledge.
AESC Diversity Leadership Council
The Ellig Group
Heidrick & Struggles
Werner Boel, senior partner, brings over two decades of experience in international law, health law, business venture consulting and leadership recruitment to his executive search practice at WittKieffer. Werner serves as the firm’s Legal and Compliance Practice leader. His dynamic multicultural background and broad global experience provides clients with unmatched expertise, particularly in recruiting health and education general counsel, senior legal officers, chief compliance officers, chief risk officers, law school deans and leaders of aligned professional societies and associations. Werner’s practice has special emphasis on recruiting top executives to build the scope and influence of in-house legal departments on behalf of healthcare, higher education and not-for-profit organizations. Werner assists clients in evaluating the new breed of senior legal executives who play a lead role in developing emerging business models, assessing and managing risk, shaping public policy and building stronger government and legislative relations. Prior to joining WittKieffer, he worked as an International Legal Coordinator for Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP providing immigration advice to Fortune 500 clients. He also worked closely with Belgian and U.S.-based companies promoting overseas business ventures in Belgium and Europe as the Executive Director of The Belgian American Chamber of Commerce in the United States, Inc. Earlier in his career, Werner served as principal of a management recruiting and consulting firm, catering to both domestic and international clients. Werner was born and raised in Belgium, where he obtained most of his formal legal education and training. He is fluent in English, Dutch and French, and conversational in German and Italian.
Nick Chambers brings a fresh approach to executive recruitment, combining his expertise in leadership development, organization performance consulting, board governance, and client service. Nick is adept at aligning strategic executive talent insights and solutions to the specific needs of his clients. He is passionate about the social impact sector, and the critical role of higher education, healthcare, and not-for-profit institutions in creating vibrant communities and societies. He is a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms.
As the head of the Ellig Group, Janice is dedicated to increasing the placement of women and diverse candidates on corporate boards and in C-suites by 2025. Janice joined the legacy firm in 2000 and became Co-Chief Executive Officer in its transition to Chadick Ellig in 2007; she assumed sole ownership of the company as the Ellig Group in 2017 with a new focus on Reimagining Search. Prior to her career in executive search, Janice spent 20 years in corporate America at Pfizer, Citi and Ambac Financial Group, an IPO from Citibank, where she was responsible for Marketing, Human Resources, and Administration. Heralded by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of “The World’s Most Influential Headhunters,” Janice is often consulted for her expertise and her commitment to gender parity, inclusion, and diversity. She frequently appears at speaking engagements and as a media guest, and she has penned multiple articles for outlets such as Directors & Boards, Directorship, Corporate Director, The Huffington Post, and Forbes.com. Janice also co-authored two books: Driving The Career Highway and What Every Successful Woman Knows, acknowledged by Bloomberg Businessweek as “the best of its genre.” A tirelessly active member of the industry and champion of her causes, Janice is Founder of the Women’s Forum of New York’s Corporate Board Initiative and its signature event, Breakfast of Corporate Champions. Since 2011, Janice continues to spearhead this event to honor companies committed to board diversity and to encourage CEOs to sponsor board-ready women for the Women’s Forum database. (LINK: www.womensforumny.org). Janice is personally committed to several NFP organizations: Board Director of the National YMCA and Past Chair of the YMCA Board of Greater New York; Trustee of the Actors Fund and Committee For Economic Development (CED); Incoming Chair, University of Iowa Foundation; Women’s Forum of New York Past President and Chair of the Corporate Board Initiative; member of the Steering Committee, US 30% Club and The Economic Club of New York. In recognition for her many philanthropic activities, Janice received the University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011 and the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) Eleanor Raynolds Award for Volunteerism in 2008. Named one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews, she was also a recipient of the Channel 21 Award In Excellence for her contribution to “Excellence in the Economic Development for Women.”
Julian Ha is a partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ Washington D.C. office and leads the global Government & Policy and Association practices. He is also a member of the Legal, Risk, Compliance & Government Affairs and CEO & Board of Directors practices. Julian represents numerous fortune 500 clients and member-driven organizations and has placed senior executives around the globe in legal, public policy, government relations, public affairs and communications roles. Prior to executive search, Julian practiced corporate law in New York, Singapore, and London. As an attorney with Paul Weiss, Baker & McKenzie and Linklaters, he advised multinational corporations on their IPOs, private equity investments and cross-border M&A transactions. Julian has also operated as a venture capitalist in London, headed the European business development efforts of Capital IQ, a financial software company, and was a director in the corporate finance group of Evolution Securities China Limited. Julian has extensive boardroom governance experience, having served on the board of China Recycling Energy Corporation (CREG), a NASDAQ-listed cleantech company where he chaired CREG’s compensation committee and was a member of its audit and nominating & governance committees. Julian is currently a board member of the Public Affairs Council, US-ASEAN Business Council and National Association of Corporate Directors - Capital Area Chapter. He also serves on the global board of AESC which represents the entire retained executive search and leadership consulting profession.
Diversified Search Group
Sharon Hall is a member of three of the firm's global practice specialties – Human Resources, Consumer and the Diversity Practice, which she co-founded in 1999. Sharon managed Spencer Stuart’s Atlanta office for five years and has also served on Spencer Stuart’s global board of directors. Throughout her 20 years at Spencer Stuart, Sharon has completed more than 300 searches for marketing leaders and for chief HR leaders across all industries, including consumer, retail, industrial, financial services, healthcare, communications and others. Sharon maintains consistently high-quality scores from her clients and is known to provide highly engaging experiences for the clients and candidates she serves. Prior to executive search, Sharon spent more than 13 years developing effective teams in corporate frameworks and building her functional experience, which includes marketing, strategic planning, new business development and general management. Sharon’s corporate experience includes brand marketing at Procter & Gamble; consulting in Booz, Allen & Hamilton’s consumer practice; 10 years at Avon Products where she started up the strategic planning function for the Pacific Rim businesses as well as the new business development group before a successful transition into line management. After serving as general manager for Avon’s personal care business, Sharon headed up strategic planning and new business development for a private equity portfolio company before joining the search industry. Sharon graduated magna cum laude from Morris Brown College before getting an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. She is a former board member of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City.
Denielle Pemberton-Heard is the General Counsel and Managing Director for Diversified Search Group, based in the firm’s Washington, DC office. She joined Diversified in 2018 following fifteen years as Group Counsel, Programming and Business Affairs at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the nation’s largest non-commercial media enterprise. There, she directed transactional work related to the production, distribution, and syndication of content across all platforms on behalf of PBS and its 300-plus member stations, and led negotiations between and among PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, on-air talent, program funders, and foundations. Before joining PBS, she served as Group Counsel for Thales, Inc., a French-owned communications concern, and as Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs at Time Life. She has also held in-house positions at Discovery Communications, Inc. She began her law career in private practice with Connecticut’s Wiggin and Dana, and was subsequently associated with the New York firm of Cowan Liebowitz and Latman, where she focused on intellectual property litigation. Pemberton-Heard also serves as a senior advisor to STEMconnector, a Diversified Search company committed to increasing the number of STEM-ready workers in the global talent pool through its work with pioneering leaders across more than 200 organizations. An alumna of the Columbia Graduate School of Business, she has served as a Regional Judge for Presidential Commission White House Fellowships; as a Trustee of the Toy Industry of America Foundation; and on the Board of Governors of the Case Western School of Law. Pemberton-Heard has also served on the professional faculty of the Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business, where she has lectured on business law.
Christine Pendleton exemplifies WittKieffer’s spirit of professional dedication and commitment to clients. Based in the firm’s Oak Brook, Illinois, office, Christine works to identify presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice presidents, deans and chief diversity officers on behalf of top colleges and universities, as well as key senior leaders in non-profit organizations. Christine is the co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Council and the director of its Community Fund. She was the recipient of WittKieffer’s 2017 Quality Award. Prior to joining WittKieffer, Christine worked at a community-based education, career development and supportive services organization in Chicago. In her role, she was responsible for developing and implementing fundraising, marketing, communications and program growth plans. In addition to her professional work, Christine devotes a significant amount of her time to community service activities. She has served as a volunteer consultant for local and national non-profit organizations in strategic planning and marketing. She is a former member of the board of directors of the Junior League of Chicago and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Tina Shah Paikeday
Heather Phelps is the Managing Partner responsible for Executive Search and Leadership Development. She leads the design, resourcing and execution of human capital initiatives across Canada. Heather is a human resource strategist who works closely with clients to understand their strategic goals and business objectives in recruitment and leadership development. As Managing Partner of Phelps Executive Search and Leadership Development, Heather provides counsel to the C-Suite, Senior Executives, Boards and Human Resource leaders. Heather’s process is as rigorous as her strategies are successful. Specializing in national executive level recruitment, she has accumulated deep understanding of key business drivers and competencies relevant to both the public and private sectors. Heather has a passion for talent spotting and leadership building. She continues to pioneer innovative approaches to recruitment that reflect the needs of today’s complex recruitment world. From proprietary competency development to keen strategic insight, she is regarded for her thorough and confidential approach. She is a champion of diversity and inclusion and is recognized for her support of Indigenous leadership across Canada. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA), an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration, and is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC). She is certified as an Executive Resourcing Consultant for the Public Service Commission and is certified to administer and interpret several psychometric/leadership profiles.
Pauly is a Senior Vice President in Raines’ Industrial, Aerospace, & Defense practice with a focus on Transportation and Infrastructure. He has worked at the highest levels in multiple industries, always advising principals on strategy as well as execution. He’s successfully led high achieving teams under national spotlight and intense media attention. He brings those experiences, best practices, and passion for client services to Raines and to our clients. He’s helped Private Equity and Fortune 500 companies identify and hire executive leadership including external affairs (Government Affairs, Legal, Communications, PR, & Investor Relations) and Commercial P&L leadership. Working closely with CEOs and their boards, Pauly has identified and placed leadership for middle market portfolio companies owned by major private equity firms. Additionally, Pauly leads Raines International’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts across all practice areas. Prior to joining Raines International, Pauly was the New Jersey Executive Director for the national nonprofit America Needs You. In that capacity, he worked closely with business units and human resources teams of national partner accounts including BlackRock, the Boston Consulting Group, Goldman Sachs, Google, and Johnson & Johnson. Pauly also served as Chief of Staff to the Global CEO of IPG Mediabrands, the global media and data arm of the Interpublic Group which manages $39 billion in marketing investment on the behalf of its clients. Pauly spent several years lobbying state legislatures as a Government Affairs Director at Moore & Van Allen, PLLC. He began his career as a Community Relations Manager with the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Tina Shah Paikeday
Tina Shah Paikeday leads the firm’s global Diversity & Inclusion advisory services as a senior member of the Leadership & Succession team. Her recent work has included the recruitment of Chief Diversity Officers, the development of inclusive leaders and inclusive culture transformation. In this capacity, she has advised global diversity and inclusion councils and executive leadership teams on the development of operating models for the formation and governance of D&I functions, data informed approaches to developing impactful D&I strategies and recommended action steps and programs to achieve D&I goals. Based in San Francisco, she advises public, private and nonprofit clients around the world. Tina has 25 years of industry experience. She joined Russell Reynolds Associates from the Talent Advisory Board, a boutique research and management consulting firm she founded. As a Managing Director, Tina advised clients on managing a diverse workforce. Earlier, she was a Senior Director at the Corporate Executive Board and was instrumental in building the Corporate Leadership Council Solutions people analytics business. Tina started her career at McKinsey & Company and has worked in sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble and The Clorox Company. Tina was also CEO of zBox Company, a venture-backed, tech-based appliance producer whose product line was later acquired by Whirlpool. Tina received a BS in commerce, with honors, from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She has also completed doctoral-level coursework and is researching mindfulness and executive decision-making. Tina has lectured on organizational behavior, strategy and leadership at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the University of Virginia. Tina was formerly a Charter Member of The Indus Entrepreneurs, the founding National Chair of the Board of the Network of Indian Professionals and founder and former President of the Bay Area Chapter, as well as founder and former Chair of the Board of Indus Women Leaders.
Bill is a Managing Director in the Washington D.C. office and has been recently appointed to represent the firm on the AESC’s North America Leadership Council. Bill brings more than two decades of executive search experience to the Stanton Chase organization. His knowledge and experience include consumer products & services, healthcare, industrial and diversity. Prior to joining Stanton Chase, Bill was Partner at a boutique executive search firm based in Chicago, IL and led numerous search engagements and diversity initiatives for large multinational companies. He also led the firm’s international engagements supporting clients in the UK, Canada, Caribbean and Central America. In addition, Bill served on the University of Illinois Alumni Association Board of Directors for 10 years and became it’s “Chairman of the Board” representing alumni worldwide. He is active in the tech start-up field and is passionate about mentoring young men of color through programs such as Project Visible Man and the Black Male Leadership Academy. Bill holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the University of Illinois Champaign - Urbana.