Diversity Leadership Councils
The AESC Diversity Councils are comprised of representatives from AESC member firms. Our Councils were founded to ensure we progress the mission laid forth in the AESC Diversity Pledge.
North America Diversity Leadership Council
Senior Partner & Practice Leader, Legal Services, WittKieffer
Consultant, Spencer Stuart
CEO, The Ellig Group
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.
Suzanne M. Burns is a trusted advisor to numerous public and private company CEOs and Boards. An expert on Board best practices, CEO succession planning, organizational and cultural alignment, and attracting developing diverse talent to drive shareholder value, Suzanne is a member of Spencer Stuart’s Board, CEO, Industrial, Private Equity, and Digital Transformation practices. Suzanne advises global clients on board and C-suite talent selection, cultural transformation and board effectiveness to increase competitiveness. She also leads the firm’s B2B distribution and building/architectural product teams. Ms. Burns serves manufacturing and distribution clients around the world, bringing more than 25 years of industrial experience in the areas of general management and strategic growth leadership. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Suzanne served as chief talent officer for W.W. Grainger, the global MRO distributor, and led the supply chain and distribution center integration of 11 previously acquired businesses into a new U.S. omni-channel business model. Previously, as president of Fluid Management, a subsidiary of IDEX Corporation, Suzanne launched IoT-enabled digital predictive diagnostic technology into DIY big-box channels. Earlier, she spent 17 years with Eaton Corporation. She was president of the $1 billion global electrical Power Quality business following the acquisition of Powerware. She also oversaw the integration of $2.2 billion, 15,000-person hydraulic manufacturer Aeroquip-Vickers across 84 facilities worldwide. As director of international development from 1995 to 1998, Suzanne led Eaton’s expansion beyond North America and Europe and established 15 start-up/joint venture investments in Asia and Latin America. Suzanne is active in the Chicago community as a member of The Chicago Club, The Economic Club of Chicago, Women Corporate Directors, The Executives’ Club of Chicago and the University Club of Chicago. She is a member of the board of the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Foundation. Ms. Burns previously chaired the nominating and governance committees for Communities In Schools of Chicago and Leadership Greater Chicago. As Spencer Stuart’s representative on the America’s Board of the Association of Executive Search Consultants and a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, she stays abreast of the latest trends in corporate governance. Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.
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.”
Partner, Heidrick & Struggles
Chief Legal Officer, Diversified Search Group
Senior Associate, Witt Kieffer
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.
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.
Managing Partner, Phelps Group
Senior Vice President and Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Raines International
Tina Shah Paikeday
Global Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Services, Russell Reynolds
Managing Director, Stanton Chase
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.
Europe and Africa Diversity Leadership Council
CEO, Michaël Berglund AB/ IIC Partners
Managing Partner, Member of the Global Board, Amrop Romania
Helen Di Mauro
Partner, Stanton Chase
Michaëla is CEO, co-founder and Senior Partner of Michael Berglund Executive Search.
Oana Ciornei is the Managing Partner of Amrop Romania and a Member of Amrops' Global Board. She is a trusted advisor in leadership and senior management appointments, board composition, strategic restructuring and talent acquisition programs. Oana is a core member of Amrop's global Digital Practice. Oana joined the organization in 2010 when her firm became Amrop in Romania. She oversees the strategic direction and operations of Amrop in Romania and serves as Senior Consultant for the following practices: Digital, Consumer and Industrial. She is a member of Amrop's global Digital Practice. She also led Amrop University, a global initiative designed to support broad professional development across the organization. Oana has a 14-year track record in executive search and has senior FMCG management experience. She assisted and advised leading companies on leadership and senior management appointments, strategic restructuring and talent acquisition programs. Her former career gives her real-life sensitivity to many aspects of the performance requirements of the role. Her expertise includes multi-cultural leadership, linking business strategy to individual and organizational objectives, talent management and international project management. She is a certified SHL assessor, MBTI practitioner and she completed several executive development programs at IMD Lausanne. Oana holds a Bachelor Degree in Computers Science from the West University of Timisoara, Romania.
Helen Di Mauro
Helen Di Mauro has led energy sector recruitment for over 15 years working with a range of international clients following a career in commercial advisory with two of the world’s leading energy consultancies. She graduated from Oxford University in Russian and French and has an MA in International Relations from Boston University. Her 10 years in energy consulting were spent, initially with CERA in the USA, where she co-managed the FSU practice, and then with Wood Mackenzie in Europe, where she led the Gas and Power Consulting Group. Helen has recruited a range of senior leaders for the renewables sector, and retains an expertise in senior management and technical appointments in the Oil & Gas sector. Additionally, she has developed a strong reputation with clients in delivering a consistently diverse candidate slate and expertise in functional leaderships roles in Operations, Commercial, Legal and HR. Helen has served on the IIC Partners Board of Directors.
Eleri Dodsworth is a Partner at the London office of Stanton Chase. Eleri is a passionate advocate of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and she strongly believes in helping her clients build diverse leadership teams. She views diversity and inclusion as business imperatives that ultimately drive business performance. Eleri places C-suite leaders, divisional directors, and non-executive directors for FTSE-listed companies as well as private equity, family, and privately owned businesses She specializes within the industrial sector with a further functional focus on strategic HR and diversity leadership positions across all sectors. Eleri embarked on her career in global executive search and leadership consulting in 1999 by joining a boutique search firm where she spent three years before moving to an international FTSE 250 company. During the next eight years, she was responsible for managing a large, high-performing team before promotion to Associate Director within the executive search practice, where she specialized in appointing Chief Financial Officers. Eleri was subsequently approached to join the Odgers Berndtson Group LLP in 2010, where she respectively held the roles of Search Consultant and Head of Client Development for the next 10 years. During this time, she successfully project-managed a range of leadership appointments across multiple sectors and geographies and was responsible for conducting client audits and developing and maintaining key relationships within the firm. Eleri holds a B.A. degree in English Literature and Language from the University of Hull and is an experienced coach and mentor. She is a champion for female leadership and gender equality and is proud to be a member of UN Women, HeForShe, and the 30% Club. Eleri is an active supporter of race equality within employment, and she continues to work to raise awareness and understanding of neurodiversity within the workplace.
Dr. Annette Dölker
Partner, Russell Reynolds Associates
Consultant, Eric Salmon & Partner
Partner, Heidrick & Struggles
Managing Director, WittKieffer
Dr. Annette Dölker
Dr. Annette Dölker is a member of the firm's Insurance, Asset & Wealth Management and Financial Officers Practices. She helps clients in the financial services industry build and develop outstanding senior leadership teams. She works primarily with insurance and reinsurance groups in Germany and in the EMEA region. In addition, she supports companies in the asset and wealth management and professional services spaces. Annette is an expert in senior management and supervisory board assignments. She also conducts chief financial officer, chief risk officer, general counsel and chief compliance officer searches across all industries. She is based in Hamburg. Annette has more than 17 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining the firm, she was responsible for the financial, strategic and legal functions of a Bancassurance subsidiary of the Talanx group. Before that, she was a chief risk officer in that group and was in charge of preparing the group for Solvency II. Earlier, Annette spent ten years with McKinsey & Company and Accenture, providing strategic, operational and risk expertise to leading insurance and reinsurance clients across Europe. Annette is an actuary and a member of the German Association of Actuaries (Deutsche Aktuarvereinigung). She has published books on alternative risk transfer and operational risk in insurance companies and has written numerous articles for the insurance industry. Annette is a lecturer for the German Insurance Association for Vocational Education and Training in Hamburg. Annette has a master's degree in insurance and business mathematics (Diplom-Wirtschaftsmathematik) from the University of Hamburg as well as a master's degree (MBR) in business research and a doctoral degree (Dr. oec. publ.) from Munich's Ludwig Maximilians University. Annette is fluent in English and German and has advanced French language skills.
Laura joined Eric Salmon & Partners in 1999. She initially specialised in the industrial and private equity sectors, mainly on top management positions at national and international levels. She then focused on Leadership Advisory Services, working with clients on talent management issues and conducting management appraisals and succession planning projects across a variety of business sectors. Laura is an Italian national. She holds a degree in Communication Sciences from IULM University and is a Certified Professional Coach (ICF).
Jennifer Flock is a partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ Paris office and a member of Heidrick Consulting. She has expertise with balanced leadership and works with senior executives and leadership teams to understand and adapt to key 21st demographic trends related to gender, nationality, and generation, reframing the topic from a “nice to have” to a strategic business priority with bottom line relevance. Jennifer has two decades of experience driving change in Fortune 500 companies around performance, growth, and innovation. She’s designed and led complex, large-scale transformation initiatives linked to globalization, demographic changes, post-merger integration, sustainability, shifting business models, and new technologies. Jennifer has worked with global clients across numerous industries, including professional services, consumer goods, energy, transportation, health care, industrial, financial services, high tech, and others. Earlier in her career she served as an executive committee member of the leading global travel management division of TUI, responsible for transformation and strategic business planning. Previously, she advised global clients as a strategy consultant at Deloitte.
Nathaniel Hook brings close to 20 years of broad, international executive search experience across the life sciences and healthcare sectors and serves WittKieffer as a managing director in the global Life Sciences Practice. Nathaniel’s wide-ranging expertise ensures an extended network of international contacts. Based in London, Nathaniel has a particular interest in the ongoing convergence of the Healthcare and Technology sectors and the accompanying development of paradigm-shifting digital health applications. Prior to joining WittKieffer, Nathaniel was a senior client partner with another global executive search and advisory firm where he led activities in Healthcare Services across EMEA. Nathaniel was previously a partner in Life Sciences with two international executive search firms. In his first partner role, he helped establish that firm’s practice in Healthcare Technology. Nathaniel began his executive search career in a research capacity with a focus on both Life Sciences and Technology with an international recruitment and consulting company.
Partner, Head of EMEA Legal, Compliance and Regulatory Practice, Spencer Stuart
Susana Pérez de Vries
Consultant, Talengo/Panorama Search
Consultant, Business Intelligence, Coulter Partners
AltoPartners Global Director: Business Development, AltoPartners
Based in London, Shami Iqbal leads the firm’s Legal, Compliance & Regulatory Practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. A former lawyer with more than 15 years of search and assessment experience, Shami works with public and private companies across all sectors on the talent and leadership needs within their legal, compliance, corporate secretarial and government affairs functions. Shami is also a leading member of the Professional & IT Services Practice in the U.K. and works with a variety of legal and consulting firms to assist with their lateral partner and business management hiring needs. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Shami led the legal, compliance and government affairs practice at another global search firm, and also co-led its EMEA financial services infrastructure practice. Previously, he led the global legal and compliance practice at a boutique financial services firm in London. Before his career in executive search, Shami was a sports lawyer at a leading London law firm. Shami graduated with a law degree from King's College London and completed his studies at The College of Law. He is fluent in Urdu.
Susana Pérez de Vries
Susana Pérez de Vries is a Principal of the leadership consulting area. Her specialty is the design and implementation of international programmes. Susana has wide-ranging experience in projects with an international scope and multicultural teams, with a focus on the incorporation of cultural, generational and gender dimensions that ensure the adaptation of key collectives. She has designed and coordinated transformation projects with high organisational impact, such as talent evaluation and identification systems, development programmes for high potential employees, leadership models, process revisions, culture change management and the design of career plans. Her business experience and people development focus have led her to accompany executives in the definition of human resource policies as well as processes involving their own professional development. In the latter field she is an expert in the development of high performance teams and relationship skills, in addition to being an executive coach for individuals or teams.
Provision of industry insight and market intelligence to support consultants in their understanding of client needs and the wider market. Global resource for analytical, data-driven intelligence to support strategic planning and business development initiatives. Joined Coulter Partners in 2016 after a fourteen-year tenure at international executive search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates. A sound understanding of, and experience in, the entire executive search process across several sectors including Technology, Life Sciences and Not-for-Profit; most recently involved in providing analytical and strategic support to the European Life Sciences team. Neha holds a BA (Hons.) from University College London and a Postgraduate in International Business from the London School of Economics.
With a philosophy of “Have Passports, Will Travel”, Julia is an avid traveller and truly believes that her role at AltoPartners was designed especially for her! Julia is the Global Sales & Marketing Director for AltoPartners where she is the global brand custodian and communications/marketing lead for the alliance. With over a decade spent working across multiple communications disciplines and industries, Julia brings a wealth of strategic corporate insight and experience in stakeholder communications, media relations, brand communications, crisis communications, reputation management and digital communication strategies. Julia has worked on landmark South African M&A deals and has been involved in a number of corporate financial calendar activities, stock exchange listings, as well as positioning campaigns for leading blue chip listed companies. Julia has also worked on change management and internal communications campaigns within companies in the mining, financial services and government sectors. Honing her skills in integrated communications, Julia worked as a strategist in the media and television industry, with specific focus on clients in the retail, financial services and industrial sectors. Julia specifically chose to work in the television industry to add to her “storytelling” skills and appropriately tell a corporate story in a relevant and compelling way. Back in PR, Julia took up a senior position at well-known full-service PR agency with a mandate that included strategic counsel across the client base, new business development and the operational and strategic activities within the agency. Her tenure afforded her the opportunity to further develop her skills at brand communications and broaden the spectrum of her communications and management skills. Julia holds her MA in Corporate Communications.
Judit Szalóky Tóth
HR Business Partner, Saxton Bampfylde/ Panorama Search
Partner, Chair & Board Practice, Odgers Berndtson
Mosima is a Shareholder and a Director of Signium Africa, previously Talent Africa. She has over 20 years’ experience in executive search and has successfully recruited Chief Executive Officers and other senior level executives for general management roles in a wide range of industries such as media, mining, engineering, oil and gas, health care, aviation and for various large state-owned enterprises. Although a generalist, she has interest in the industrial practice. Mosima has also executed numerous expatriate assignments for different locations in Africa such as Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Mosima joined the world of executive search as a Research Associate and Research Director. She then moved to a JSE listed company as an Executive Search Director and a Shareholder. She later founded her own search firm, which she ran successfully for four years, prior to joining Talent Africa, now Signium Africa. Mosima holds a BA degree, a Post Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Science and a Sales and Marketing Management Diploma. When she is not in the office you will find Mosima preaching, which she calls her heartbeat. She often gets invited to be a motivational speaker.
Judit Szalóky Tóth
Judit is a multifaceted professional who has distinguished herself across industries in executive and board roles. She is a recognized consulting professional with a history of helping companies and leaders solve business issues and make better decisions. Among other areas, Judit has in-depth expertise in consumer & retail, professional services, data management & analytics and org. development.
Sarah Thomas has been with Saxton Bampfylde since 2014 and leads its people function. Sarah’s role involves working with the Board to move our people strategy forward and she also chairs Saxton Bampfylde’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Prior to joining Saxton Bampfylde Sarah worked in HR roles bilingually in English and French within the hospitality, charity and export sectors both in the UK and in France. Sarah has a BA in Psychology and French from the University of Wales, Swansea
Susanne Thorning-Lund is a senior member of our firm’s Chair & Board Practice, specialising in non-executive appointments as well as CEO searches in her areas of focus. Based in London, she has supported boards in the UK and internationally on board evolution and on the appointment of chairs and independent non-executive directors since 2003. Having advised FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 large corporations, ambitious start-ups, multi-generational family-businesses and private equity-based companies, across sectors and cultures, in the process, Susanne has gained particular expertise in guiding entrepreneurial and family-owned companies through sustainable board succession planning, on which she leads for Odgers Berndtson. Susanne joined Odgers Berndtson in 1997. Previously, she worked with a boutique strategy consultancy, providing businesses with advice on market dynamics across a range of industrial sectors. She has a degree in International Economics and Modern Languages from Copenhagen Business School and an MA in International Relations from the University of Kent. Supporting our clients on developing balanced, diverse and effective boards, Susanne is an active member of our firm’s Diversity Steering Council.
Partner, EuroGalenus/ ECI Group
Managing Director, Sheffield Haworth
Founding Partner & Managing Partner, Leathwaite
Luis is a Senior International Executive Search and Leadership Consultant (Assessment) for the Board, CXO's, Heads of Division, BU's, etc. He has been recognized as Iberoamerican and European Consultant and he treasures an extensive network at Board and senior level in dozens of organizations. His career in executive search started in 1992 when he founded Euromedica in Madrid. Previously, he worked for NOVARTIS and GSK in Marketing roles and he was International Chief Commercial Officer for the API’s manufacturer Cesquisa (CEPSA group).
Helen focuses on Partner level Executive Search in management consultancy and Professional services, specialising in Financial services, Government & Defence, Telco, Consumer and Retail sectors. She covers Strategy, Operations Transformation, Technology & Digital, Organisation Design, Human Capital, Talent and leadership. She works with the Big 4 consultancies, strategy houses, systems integrators and challenger consultancies. Helen has extensive UK and European experience. She covers Partner, VP and Director level positions, as well team acquisitions or team builds. Before joining SH, Helen was Managing Partner of BLA Search, a specialist management consultancy head-hunter, having joined as a consultant and then moved into partnership and ownership. She started her career in a global recruitment company in managerial roles. Helen holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Manchester.
Andrew is one of Leathwaite’s founding partners and in 2017 was appointed Managing Partner to help spearhead Leathwaite’s global strategic initiatives. Formerly, he led the global HR, Executive Interim and Blockchain teams for the business. Over the last decade, he has also built and led the Governance business for Leathwaite, which includes the Risk, Legal, Compliance and Government Affairs practices. Additionally Andrew has oversight of the EMEA business and Zurich office. He has over 20 years’ experience in the recruitment industry. Prior to Leathwaite, Andrew worked in New York, building the US arm of a leading UK consultancy, and joined an emerging markets search firm with responsibility for finance and operations search. He partnered with investment banks operating in London, New York and Central and Eastern Europe.
Asia Pacific Diversity Leadership Council
Managing Partner, Accord India
Partner, EMA Partners
Managing Partner Global Practice Group Lead, Diversity & Inclusion, Stanton Chase
Managing Partner, Odgers Berndtson
With over 25 years of search experience, Sonal serves clients in Private Equity, Conglomerates, Financial Services for Board, CEO and CXO searches. She also anchors the Board and Diversity practice for the firm. Sonal co-founded and serves on the global board for AltoPartners, the leading global partnership of executive search and leadership consulting firms across the Americas, EMEA and APAC, and of the AESC (the global association for executive search and leadership consulting), as well as on the boards of Accord, ABC Consultants, and has held roles at YPO (Young Presidents Organization - a peer network of 25,000+ global leaders in 100+ nations). She is also on the FICCI Diversity & Inclusion task force and has previously served on the boards of Watson Wyatt India and other listed board. Sonal has been named by the Economic Times as one of the Top 10 Headhunters in India, by Businessweek, USA as one of the 150 Most Influential Headhunters in the World and by Business Today magazine as one of the Next 30 Most Powerful Women in business in India. She wrote a monthly column on career issues in the Mint (erstwhile affiliate of the Wall Street Journal in India) and remains a frequent advocate and speaker on leadership, gender and diversity, and doing business in India. Born in East Africa and raised in Kolkata, Sonal read for a B.Sc. in Economics at St Xavier’s College Calcutta, and then completed her MBA from the London Business School, UK.
Biography to come
Reet is part of the Leadership team at EMA Partners in India and she manages the Banking & Financial Services Practice for the firm. She has over a decade of experience in Executive Search and has been part of the India practice since its inception. Prior to her career move into executive search, she worked with a leading Securities & Broking organisation in India. EMA Partners works with some of the leading names in the financial services sector and has built an enviable track record of appointing over 300 leaders with marquee clients across Banking, Financial Services, Insurance and Private Equity. Reet has been instrumental in building the practice over the years and today is one of the most recognised consultants in the sector. Reet has been closely tracking the evolution of the sector and has played an influential role in creating new-age teams in the Digital and Fintech space. She also leads the Diversity Practice for the firm in India and has been at the forefront of several diversity hiring initiatives across sectors. Reet has also been vocal about some of the challenges impacting women in the workforce in business and social media. Reet holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Studies from Mumbai University and a post-graduate degree in Business Management from the Institute for Technology & Management.
Mala is a Managing Partner and shareholder with Stanton Chase India. She is a trained Civil Engineer, and she puts her Engineering degree to best use by understanding and resolving leadership challenges of Manufacturing & Industrial companies. She is a consultant with great integrity, deep knowledge, and a vast international network. She has been a trusted advisor to her clients for over a decade. Mala started her career selling welding and glass solutions. She became a recruiter in 2004 working for Adecco India, part of one of the world’s largest recruitment outfits. She later had a 12-year stint at the ABC Consultants group, where she became the star search consultant that she continues to be today. She worked in the Delhi, Kolkata & Mumbai offices of ABC, winning numerous performance awards. She later moved to their headhunting arm called Chairman’s High Circle (CHC) and later participated in CXO appointments. When CHC became Stanton Chase, she became a part of the network and was later handpicked by the global board of Stanton Chase to be a partner and shareholder in India. Mala is known for her eye to client needs and candidate fit. She is a fantastic listener and interpreter of situations. Mala grew up in the hills of Himachal and now lives in Mumbai with her husband and two children. She is fond of movies and food.
As Managing Partner, Caroline leads the Education and Public Sector practices in Australia. She has extensive experience on a national and international basis and has led executive assignments at the CEO, vice chancellor and senior executive level. Caroline also has considerable experience in the appointment of chairpersons and non-executive directors in the public and private sectors. Prior to her executive search career, Caroline spent 12 years in corporate affairs consulting to government and corporate clients on organisational reputation, media relations and customer engagement strategies. Earlier, she worked in public relations in the arts industry. Caroline was previously president of a large inner-city sporting organisation and co-chair of a contemporary dance organisation. Caroline holds a Bachelor of Arts (Media) from La Trobe University and a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations from RMIT.
Consultant, Spencer Stuart
Research Director, China, Boyden
Partner, Heidrick & Struggles
Executive Director, Russell Reynolds Associates
Based in Shanghai, Sherry Ding is a core member of the Spencer Stuart’s Consumer and Private Equity practices, and also leads the firm’s Financial Officer Practice efforts in China. She provides senior executive search and leadership advisory services to multinational companies in Asia, as well as local Chinese enterprises. Throughout her 10 years at Spencer Stuart, Sherry has served a large number of clients in consumer goods, retail, hospitality, education, industrial, investment and professional services sectors. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Sherry was a Principal at A.T. Kearney, where she led the strategy and organization practice and co-led the consumer goods and retail practice of the firm's Greater China office. She also worked for The Boston Consulting Group and Bank of Communications. Throughout her career, Sherry has served a wide range of clients, including multinational and local companies, as well as government bodies in areas including strategy formulation, organization design and leadership assessment and development. As an expert in strategy, organization and human resources topics, Sherry has been quoted in leading media such as The Wall Street Journal Asia, BBC news, CNBC and China Daily. She also has published articles in leading magazines including Harvard Business Review (Chinese), Sino-Foreign Management and China Entrepreneur. Born in China, Sherry also had lived and worked in the United States and Singapore. She holds a Bachelor of Economics from Fudan University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She is an ICF certified executive coach and speaks Mandarin Chinese and English.
Marie Evans has a strong recruitment background, having worked on search assignments for senior leadership roles throughout the APAC region across multiple industries, particularly supply chain. Prior to her recruitment career, Marie gained valuable experience in international relocation, working with senior-level principals, HR professionals, external vendors and industry specialists.
Karen Fifer is a partner in the Consumer Markets Practice and is based in the Sydney office. She previously served as global managing partner for the Consumer Markets Practice, global sector leader for Retail and partner-in-charge of the Hong Kong office. Karen is an accomplished consultant with three decades of experience in executive search and leadership advisory, which has earned her a strong reputation among decision-makers and executives in the industry. She has completed hundreds of C-suite searches for both listed and private companies, multinationals, private equity-backed companies and start-ups, representing some of the world’s most recognized and up-and-coming brands in the Consumer Packaged Goods, Retail & Luxury, Hospitality and Entertainment sectors. Karen regularly interacts with senior executives locally and regionally, allowing her to bring deep insights to her clients on the leadership and cultural challenges that are unique to Australia and Asia. She is particularly adept at conducting complex, cross-border searches for Presidents, Country Managers and Functional Leaders. In today’s flat and digitally connected world, Karen also puts a strong focus on ensuring that executives have the technological acumen to accelerate transformational change and enhance customer engagement. As a senior leader at Heidrick & Struggles, Karen has represented the firm at several prominent events, including the World Economic Forum and Fortune’s Most Powerful Women. Strongly committed to inclusion & diversity, Karen leads the firm’s Women’s Employee Resource Group for Asia Pacific. She is a recipient of the firm’s Asia Pacific Partnership Spirit Award.
Dee Fitzgerald is a business psychologist and member of our Leadership and Succession Practice. She advises clients on executive hiring, promotions, and succession planning and helps build leadership capabilities, values and cultures. Dee is based in Sydney. Dee has over 25 years of consulting experience in leadership assessment, development and talent management. She has worked extensively throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific across a broad range of industry sectors. Prior to joining Russell Reynolds Associates, Dee held leadership roles at global talent management firms Right Management where she was Regional Talent Assessment Lead for Asia Pacific and Lee Hecht Harrison where she was Leadership Development Director. Previously, she was Director of Xancam Consulting, an established business psychology firm in the UK, specializing in executive assessment and high potential identification and development. Earlier in her career, Dee held a global talent management role in British American Tobacco. She began her career in the British Post Office as a psychologist, before moving into a senior leadership development role with the Royal Mail. Dee holds a B.Sc. Honours in Applied Psychology with Pure Mathematics from University College Cork and a Master’s in Occupational and Organizational Psychology from the University of East London. She is registered as a practicing Psychologist in Australia and in the UK. Dee is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS).
Senior Consultant, Sheffield Haworth
Partner, Odgers Berndtson
Executive Director, Russell Reynolds Associates
Managing Partner, Sheffield Haworth
Jennie focuses on Strategy consulting and the intersection with industry, working with clients cross sector including Financial Services and the Technology sector, advising on the acquisition of transformational Strategy leadership. Particularly with a focus on restructuring, turnaround, digital strategy, and corporate strategy. She has completed numerous mandates for clients across the Asia Pacific region. Jennie joined Sheffield Haworth in 2017 as part of the acquisition of nbi Consulting and prior to being based in Singapore, worked out of the Hong Kong and London offices. Jennie graduated from the University of Exeter with a BA in International Relations.
Toby Gardner is a Partner in Odgers Berndtson’s Sydney office and leads the Financial Services Practice across Australia and New Zealand. His focus is on Board level executive appointments and senior leadership roles across banking and capital markets, insurance, wealth management and related financial services markets. Toby works closely with Odgers Berndtson’s global team to ensure successful delivery of both local and global searches. Prior to joining Odgers Berndtson, Toby worked for a Big Four global consulting firm for 18 years specialising in serving financial services clients in the UK, Europe, APAC and most recently managing clients globally. His relationships and expertise traverse a broad range of functional areas within financial services and he has a depth of knowledge and understanding of both the regulatory and economic drivers shaping future skills requirements. Toby has a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Nottingham, has lived in multiple locations globally, with Sydney now firmly his home.
Jynn Goh leads the firm’s APAC Fintech and Digital Practices, based in Singapore. She focuses on senior and C-suite appointments in banking, private equity, fintech and real estate. Jynn covers a range of functional leadership roles, with a specialization on technology-focused roles such as Chief Digital Officers, Chief Transformation Officers and Chief Strategy Officers. With a background in strategy consulting and talent management, Jynn works with both multinationals and locally headquartered clients across the full suite of their leadership development needs, incorporating succession planning, culture analysis and board assessment. Jynn joined Russell Reynolds Associates from McKinsey & Co., where she held roles in consulting, talent development and operations. In her role as the Asia Pacific COO (Practice Manager) for RTS—a service line that helps clients transform their businesses—Jynn was responsible for growing the practice in both business development and recruitment across six regions. Prior to that, she held key roles in strategy consulting and talent management for Southeast Asia. Jynn began her career in the Singapore Government Administrative Service, an elite rotational program for grooming top public sector leaders. Over the six years Jynn spent with the Administrative Service, she worked at Contact Singapore in the US, the Ministry of Manpower and the Ministry of Law. Jynn holds a BA (Hons) in economics from Cambridge University, an MA in international and development economics from Yale University, and an MBA from INSEAD. She speaks fluent English and Mandarin.
Shivani joined Sheffield Haworth in 2012 from EWK International, where she headed the firm’s India business since 2006. She has a wealth of search experience across multiple sectors, having also previously worked at Korn Ferry (Delhi and Dubai) and Pipal Research, a customised business research company. Prior to this, Shivani also headed the Financial Services research team for Egon Zehnder in India. She started her career in the Corporate Banking division of Deutsche Bank.
Executive Director, Russell Reynolds Associates
Partner, Russell Reynolds Associates
Partner, Eric Salmon Partners
Partner Emeritus, Heidrick & Struggles
Ritu Khandelia leads the firm’s Financial Services Practice in India. She is a trusted advisor to regional and multinational clients on various senior leadership roles, assessments and growth challenges. Ritu has successfully completed several high-profile Managing Director, CEO and C-suite engagements in the private equity, global banking and markets and consumer financial services sectors. She is based in Mumbai. Prior to joining Russell Reynolds Associates, Ritu spent more than 14 years in investment banking across multinational and Indian banks, including Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and Edelweiss. She has worked in both Mumbai and London, focused primarily in the origination and execution of private equity and M&A transactions for large corporations in India and overseas.
Ryoko Komatsuzaki serves clients in the firm’s Consumer Sector. She has extensive experience advising clients on leadership recruitment both on a national and international scale. Her vast experience range from luxury goods to fashion, consumer goods, entertainment and hospitality. She is based in Tokyo. Ryoko held executive positions at several prominent global search firms to assist international companies grow their business in Japan. Prior to joining Russell Reynolds Associates, she held a leadership role with a search firm, where she managed the retail practice in Asia. Earlier in her career, Ryoko was an advertising executive for both Dentsu and Saatchi & Saatchi Bates Yomiko and was Managing Director of Lets Go Australia, a corporate travel company based in Australia.
Claire has spent 13 years in executive search and focuses on leadership positions within the consumer, luxury and retail sectors throughout APAC and Europe. She also works with clients across a range of sectors on senior functional roles spanning supply chain, HR, marketing and finance. She has undertaken numerous leadership and succession projects and is a core member of Eric Salmon & Partners’ Diversity & Inclusion Practice. Prior to joining Eric Salmon & Partners, Claire spent 10 years with Russell Reynolds Associates in both Singapore and London, and worked on numerous global assignments. Prior to moving into search, Claire spent 10 years with Accenture focusing on strategy and organisation design. She has lived and worked in the UK, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and Singapore. Claire graduated from Oxford University with an MA in Modern Languages.
Harry O’Neill is a partner emeritus in Heidrick & Struggles’ Hong Kong office. For nearly three decades, he has completed high-level human capital assignments encompassing C-suite, financial services, and board functions. He continues to work as an advisor to the firm’s clients on strategic leadership needs. Harry has held various leadership roles in the firm. Most recently, Harry led the firm’s human resources function in APAC and the Middle East, driving the firm’s people agenda in the region, with particular emphasis on diversity and inclusion. He also led the Financial Services Practice in Asia Pacific and the Middle East for more than seven years and the CEO & Board of Directors Practice in Hong Kong for three years. Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles, Harry was managing director at another global search firm, which he joined when it and the Hong Kong search firm he founded in 1994 combined businesses. Harry started his career in banking with JP Morgan in London before joining the trading team at Allied Irish Bank. He also worked in Kuwait, Singapore, and Sydney, latterly for Deutsche Bank. Harry is a former chairman of the board of the Association of Executive Search Consultants and its Asia Pacific council. He has been extensively involved in Irish community organisations in the region and served as honorary consul of Ireland to Hong Kong from 2006 until the establishment of the country's first consulate general in Hong Kong in 2014. Harry co-chairs the firm’s APAC diversity council, and is co-global leader of Pride@Heidrick, an LGBT employee resource group that serves to advance LGBT leadership worldwide.
Executive Coach, Cornerstone International Group
I have been working in Japan for more than 30 years, and believe that this experience gives me unique insights into the issues leaders here are likely to face. In addition to my career in investment banking, I spent 8 years in senior management – most recently as country manager for Lee Hecht Harrison where I was responsible for leading the talent development and outplacement business in Japan. This experience has added to my coaching portfolio by giving an extra level of understanding of the challenges that c-suite executives face on a daily basis.
Emily is a consultant in the Hong Kong office where she supports clients in all industry sectors with a focus on Finance, Legal, Risk and Compliance leadership. She began her executive search and leadership consulting career over twenty years ago in London before relocating to Asia twelve years ago. She has worked with clients across multiple industries including financial services, retail, industrial, media and professional services, particularly in relation to their Legal, Compliance and Finance leadership requirements regionally and globally. Prior to joining Leathwaite, Emily spent fourteen years with Spencer Stuart both in London and Hong Kong where she was a member of the Greater China Financial Services and CFO practices as well as leading their regional Legal and Compliance practice. She spent her early career with The Miles Partnership and Whitehead Mann.