Sheryl Ash joined Isaacson, Miller in 1996, and has built a practice focused on senior-level searches in foundations, arts and culture organizations, environmental organizations, and educational institutions. In the foundation world, Sheryl has a particular depth of practice with CEO-level searches for family foundations and community foundations. Within the firm’s education practice, she has focused on leadership searches for independent schools and art and design colleges, as well as deans for schools of education and arts and sciences. Sheryl has extensive experience in education prior to search work. In addition to teaching at the high school level, she was an instructor for the North Carolina Outward Bound School, developed programs for gifted students in the arts in Connecticut public schools, and managed an educational services program for mid-career students at Mt. Wachusett Community College in Massachusetts. Sheryl graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell College, and has a master's degree in teaching from Wesleyan University as well as an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Michael A. Baer joined Isaacson, Miller in 2005 from the American Council on Education (ACE), the major coordinating body for the nation's institutions of higher education. As Senior Vice President of ACE, Michael oversaw all ACE programs—including those that identified and prepared women and minorities to move into senior administrative positions—with responsibility for a staff of 100 and a budget of $25 million. Prior to joining ACE in 1998, Michael served Northeastern University for eight years as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. A political scientist, Michael began his academic career at the University of Kentucky, where he was a professor and department chair before serving for nine years as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. He has led and served on numerous national and community boards and published extensively on interest groups in American politics, on civic participation, and in the area of state and local government. Michael’s undergraduate degrees in chemistry and political science are from Emory University and his MA and doctoral degree in political science are from the University of Oregon.
David Bellshaw entered the field of executive search in 1990 with a major international search firm before joining Isaacson, Miller in 1992 at its Boston headquarters. David took a hiatus from the firm in 2000 to work in the private sector as a Senior Vice President (of People and subsequently Operations) at campsix, a technology business incubator in San Francisco. He then returned to the firm in 2003 to head up Isaacson, Miller’s West Coast office. David has experience recruiting for the most senior executive roles in organizations, leading searches for president, chancellor, provost, dean, and other senior administrative officers in higher education; for senior administrative and technical officers in academic medicine and teaching hospitals; for leaders of major civic institutions; and for executive directors and senior staff for environmental and advocacy organizations. David is a member of the firm's six-person Executive Committee. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Davis.
Vivian Brocard joined Isaacson, Miller in 2003 and has focused on leadership positions within higher education, advocacy, and arts and culture. She came to Isaacson, Miller with nearly 20 years of executive search experience, most recently as a partner at Gustin Partners, a retained corporate search firm headquartered in the Boston area. She helped grow and run that firm's technology practice and led searches for senior executives in early stage technology companies and functional leaders in both mid-sized and Fortune 500 corporations. As the senior operations executive at Gustin Partners, Vivian oversaw firm-wide search execution and delivery. Vivian is a member of Isaacson, Miller’s six-person Executive Committee. Her early career was in marketing and sales support with Air France and Dennison Manufacturing Company. She then served in senior human resource and operational management roles with Resource Planning Associates, a strategy-consulting firm working with natural resource industries. Vivian holds a BA in French from Simmons College.
Michelle Cruz-Williams came to Isaacson, Miller in 1985 from the American Friends Service Committee, where she served as a fundraiser and activist. Michelle grew up in Boston's South End and attended the Boston Public Schools and the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she studied early childhood education. Her first professional role was to direct the Child Care Center at Boston State College. She remained in the role for eight years, learning the arts of small not-for-profit entrepreneurs. In the early 1980s she took her considerable experience in fundraising to the American Friends Service Committee, where she had responsibility for resource development in the New England states. At Isaacson, Miller, Michelle has built upon her well-founded understanding of activism as she has taken on a wide range of searches with organizations that enrich and empower communities and work for social change. Her searches have included key leadership positions in social services, economic and community development and advocacy organizations working on both local and national scales. Michelle has applied her understanding of community and social issues in her work with a range of educational institutions including early childhood education programs, K-12 schools and school systems, and community and technical colleges. She brings to her work a deep personal knowledge of the players in her fields and the issues that drive them, and an informed passion for the value and missions of the organizations she serves.
Stephanie Fidel joined Isaacson, Miller in 1995 after more than ten years of experience in academic medicine administration in Boston. She was the first External Affairs Officer at Harvard Medical School, where she helped define, articulate, and advance the interests of the Medical School’s broad constituency to state and federal and government officials._ After leaving the Medical School in 1991, she became the Administrator of the Medical Postgraduate Division in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. There, she worked with the Department of Medicine to produce the Intensive Review of Internal Medicine (IRIM), a 600-page volume/40 audiocassette educational program providing physicians a comprehensive overview of internal medicine. At Isaacson, Miller, Stephanie has led leadership searches for academic medical centers, including dental schools, as well as Jewish communal organizations and higher education institutions. Stephanie earned her bachelor's degree and her master's degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan.
Julie Filizetti came to Isaacson, Miller in 2007 after 16 years in higher education. Prior to joining the firm, Julie was the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. She served as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, the nation’s premier higher education leadership development program that prepares senior leaders to serve American colleges and universities, and served her fellowship at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon during the 2005-2006 academic year. She also spent 12 years as a naval officer, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Julie is a member of the Board of Trustees of Menlo College and on advisory boards for Santa Clara University. She holds a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Villanova University and the Naval Postgraduate School.
Denise O'Grady Gaffney joined Isaacson, Miller in 1985. She spent the early years of her career working for the White House Cabinet Committee on Opportunities for Spanish Speaking People in Washington, DC and then joined the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Regional Office for the World Health Organization, where she spent the next ten years in human resources and senior management roles. Her last assignment with the agency was as Chief Operating Officer of the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute, located on the University of the West Indies campus in Kingston, Jamaica. At Isaacson, Miller, Denise helped the firm launch its healthcare practice and, more than any other partner, she has developed our presence in the field. Denise has worked closely with the leaders of major academic medical centers, recruiting senior operations roles in research, finance, nursing and strategy for a select group of the nation's most prominent and progressive acute and post-acute healthcare providers. Denise has also led searches for the senior executives in advocacy organizations, higher education, and major professional associations. She holds a BA from Mary Washington College and an MPA from The George Washington University.
Jack D. Gorman joined Isaacson, Miller in 1995 and has spent his tenure with the firm building and broadening the firm’s institutional advancement practice. Jack joined the firm as a consultant after serving as a senior financial executive for a leading healthcare organization. A member of the emerging development practice early on, Jack assumed its leadership when he became a Vice President and Director in 2002. The team has grown from a two-person practice to its current size, and the profile of the practice has broadened to include predominantly C-level institutional advancement roles with clients in a range of sectors including higher education, independent schools, research institutes, associations, foundations, advocacy, conservation, healthcare, and visual and performing arts. Jack has also led searches for chief executive officer and senior level financial and marketing roles. During his time at the firm, Jack has built strong and lasting relationships with many organizations, working closely with them to build robust leadership teams. He maintains an extensive personal network in institutional advancement and is a valued friend and advisor to established and growing nonprofits across the country. A native of Massachusetts, Jack earned his bachelor’s degree at Stonehill College in North Easton, MA. Active in the leadership of the firm, Jack is a member of the firm’s six-person Executive Committee.
Regan Gough joined Isaacson, Miller in 2001 and has over 15 years of experience in executive recruiting for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She has served as an anchor figure in the firm’s West Coast office, helping to build its practice across a range of sectors including higher education, foundations, conservation, and healthcare. Regan has conducted numerous searches at the presidential, cabinet, and senior levels, serving many of the firm’s most prominent West Coast clients. Past clients have included major universities, liberal arts colleges, medical centers, art and design colleges, philanthropies, and environmental and conservation organizations. Prior to joining Isaacson, Miller, she was a Managing Consultant for a subsidiary of Korn Ferry International and the sole proprietor of her own recruiting firm. She began her career in research at ES Leadership International, a boutique executive search firm. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Regan holds a BA in English, cum laude, from Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA.
Jane Gruenebaum joined Isaacson, Miller in 2004 with 30 years of experience in nonprofit management, advocacy, and academia. Most recently, she was Chief Operating Officer of the Center for Policy Alternatives, an advocacy organization advising state legislators. Prior to that she served as Executive Director of the League of Women Voters and as Senior Staff in the Center for Public Policy Education at the Brookings Institution. Jane began her career as a Congressional staffer. After earning a PhD in political science from Columbia University, she taught at Columbia and at Sarah Lawrence College before returning to Washington, DC and to advocacy work. Jane has in-depth knowledge of strategic planning, resource development, executive training, and staff recruitment and retention. Over the course of her career, she has developed a national network of nonprofit leaders, political activists, academics, and foundation officers. Jane brings her commitment to mission-driven work to Isaacson, Miller's Washington office, where she focuses on searches for advocacy organizations, associations, educational institutions, government agencies, and foundations. She is also a member of the firm’s six-person Executive Committee. In addition to the PhD, she holds a BA in political science from Earlham College, and an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
David A. Haley joined Isaacson, Miller in 1995. By then, David was well known to the firm both as a seasoned line manager and senior staff player in demanding public and nonprofit leadership assignments. Early in his career, he was Associate and then Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction. Later, he was Associate and Acting Deputy Commissioner of the NY State Office of Mental Health, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Personnel Administration, Commissioner of Public Works for the City of Cambridge, and Executive Director of two community-based nonprofit organizations. He also served as Director of Development Operations and Special Projects for the Harvard Medical School and as Vice President of a Boston-based outplacement firm. At Isaacson, Miller David has conducted searches in all of our disciplines, including higher education on both the management and academic sides, community-based social services and economic development, transportation, foundations, government, and private sector companies. He is a veteran of the United States Army and holds a BS in finance from Boston College.
Sarah Herman joined Isaacson, Miller in 1997 to assist in the recruitment of a number of finance positions for the Partners HealthCare System, Inc. In her tenure with the firm, Sarah has recruited executives for a wide range of leadership roles in administration, finance, and institutional advancement for clients in higher education, academic medicine, and professional associations. She has served many of the firm’s most prominent higher education clients, including Columbia University, Harvard University, New York University, Princeton University, and Smith College. Prior to joining Isaacson, Miller, Sarah held management and consulting positions in human resources with several Boston-area academic medical centers and teaching hospitals for over 16 years. She also worked for one of the nation’s leading recruitment advertising firms. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Vermont.
John M. Isaacson founded Isaacson, Miller in 1982. He grew up in Maine and was carefully groomed to be a third-generation Maine lawyer and fourth-generation entrepreneur. John was diverted from his natural career in his twenties by an academic and civic engagement, which took him to Dartmouth for a BA, to Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship for a BA/MA in philosophy, politics, and economics, and to Harvard Law School. Following Law School, he chose a career in public service. He launched his career as an assistant to the Secretary of Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He was employed immediately as the state's recruiter for commissioners in the human services. John served three governors and five secretaries of human services over eight years, recruiting cabinet officers and commissioners. In between recruiting assignments, he served as an Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services, as an Assistant Secretary of the Executive Office of Human Services, and as the Director of the Office for Children. By the end of his years of public service, John had benefited from working with a number of colleagues who had gone on to successful careers in higher education, academic medicine, public authorities, and national foundations. Over a two-year period in the early 1980s, they became the founding client base of the firm. In his time with Isaacson, Miller, John has led searches in many areas of the firm's practice, but he has tended in the last decade to focus on university, college and medical center leadership. He has helped the firm develop its cumulative knowledge of the craft of search and has attended, with increasing interest, to the missionary purposes of institutions, the disciplines of markets, and the emotional and intellectual learnings that leaders acquire in a committed working life. See also: A Talk with John Isaacson.
Philip Jaeger joined Isaacson, Miller in 2003 and has established a practice concentrated in healthcare and higher education. He conducts searches spanning the range of leadership positions in universities, colleges, academic medical centers, and hospitals. Philip came to Isaacson, Miller from another executive search firm serving educational and nonprofit organizations. Prior to search, he was with Cambria Consulting, a Boston-based human resources management consulting firm, where his work targeted leadership development and where he helped launch the company’s executive coaching practice. Philip is a graduate of Hamilton College and holds an EdM in higher education administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Nancy Maull joined Isaacson, Miller in 2010 after a career in teaching and higher education management. She first taught the history and philosophy of science at Yale, moving on to administrative work and teaching at Harvard. She went to the University of Chicago in 1985, where she served as the University’s Dean of Students and then as its Deputy Provost. In 1993, she moved back to Harvard, where until her recent retirement she served as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Faculty’s chief operating officer. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida. At the University of Chicago, she earned a master’s degree in biology and a doctoral degree in the conceptual foundations of science.
Tim McFeeley joined Isaacson, Miller in 2008 following a career as an attorney specializing in healthcare law, as an advocate at both the federal and state level, and as an organizational development executive and consultant. From November 2001 until joining the firm, Tim was the Executive Director of the Center for Policy Alternatives, a national, nonprofit leadership and policy resource for state legislators. For over five years Tim served as Executive Director of the Human Rights Campaign, a federal political action committee and lobbying organization that advances the cause of civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans, and during his tenure at HRC Tim worked successfully for the passage of the Ryan White CARE Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other legislation. Prior to his time at HRC Tim practiced law in Boston for over 15 years and served as Corporation Counsel for National Medical Care, Inc., which he chronicled in his book The Price of Access. Tim received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and his JD from Harvard Law School.
Gale Merseth joined Isaacson, Miller in 2004 after an extensive career in higher education, business and government. Gale was a faculty member and administrator at Harvard Business School for 13 years, serving as Director of Admissions for the MBA Program and Assistant Dean for Executive Education and External Affairs. His research and teaching were in the areas of corporate strategy and regulatory policy. He left Harvard in 1982 to serve as the founding Executive Director of the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), which developed an innovative system to provide loans for students at public and private colleges and universities in Massachusetts. As President and CEO of The New England Council in 1986-87, Gale led the organization’s work on trade, energy, and environmental issues. He went to Claremont Graduate University in 1987 as the first Dean of The Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management. He returned to the Boston area in 1991 where he consulted to large and small companies and co-founded a company that developed interactive web-based software applications to support individualized and project-based learning. Gale has an AB in economics, an MBA, and a doctoral degree in business administration from Harvard University.
Arnie Miller joined the firm in 1983 very soon after its founding, serving as our president for many years. In his early career, Arnie served as the District Representative for Congressman Allard Lowenstein of New York, soon thereafter co-founding the Contract Research Corporation, a management consulting firm in Boston. He later served as the Director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office during the Carter Administration, recruiting more women and people of color to leadership positions in the Executive Branch and the Independent Regulatory Agencies than ever before in our nation's history. Arnie then entered the search profession with Nordeman Grimm in New York. After running for the US Congress on Long Island, Arnie joined Isaacson, Miller, where in addition to his overall leadership role, and his work recruiting for the full range of functions and clients, he has anchored the firm's high profile practice among some of the nation's most consequential advocacy and policy organizations. Throughout his career with Isaacson, Miller, Arnie has managed numerous large scale projects involving several simultaneous searches for new and expanding organizations, and has assisted two US Presidents and two US Secretaries of State as they staffed senior government positions. In 40% of the searches Arnie has conducted over the past ten years, people of color have been hired. An Army veteran who served in Korea, he is a graduate of Hofstra University and studied for several years at Harvard's Russian Research Center. See also: Advice from Arnie Miller.
Monroe "Bud" Moseley joined Isaacson, Miller in 1989 after a distinctive higher education and corporate career. As a Student Affairs Dean, Bud launched his career at his alma mater, the University of Rhode Island, before moving on to Boston College to assume a directorship focused on improving student academic performance, retention, and social development. He entered corporate human resources management at Analog Devices, Inc. before joining Arthur D. Little, Inc. and the former Bank of Boston with executive recruitment responsibility. At Isaacson, Miller, Bud, like many of the senior partners, has combined a powerful commitment to mission with a consistent focus on identifying and recruiting leaders, such as presidents, executive directors, deans and (functional) vice presidents. His clients range from public and private universities and colleges to healthcare institutions, foundations, associations, government and quasi-public agencies. He has also anchored our community economic development and affordable housing practice. Bud is a member of several national and local nonprofit boards serving education, housing, healthcare and human rights advocacy. Bud holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's degree in counseling from the University of Rhode Island.
Elizabeth C. Ramos was recruited, as president, to Isaacson, Miller in 2013 to assume the duties of firm-wide leadership, enabling John Isaacson and other senior leaders to fully focus on the growing volume of search work for an expanding client base. Liz began her career at Bain & Company, where she combined client facing work across a diverse set of industries and strategy problems with internal leadership roles, becoming the firm’s first Global Chief People Officer. She has held Human Capital roles with Fidelity in the firm’s venture capital and private equity portfolio, and most recently served as Vice President of Human Capital and Executive Committee member with Charles River Associates. Liz holds an undergraduate degree in International Economics from DePauw University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Daniel Rodas joined Isaacson, Miller after a 25 year career in higher education administration. During his career, he chaired or staffed over 30 executive searches for senior leaders in higher education, including presidents, vice presidents, and deans in numerous professions and disciplines. Most recently, he served as Vice President for Planning and Vice President for Human Resources at Long Island University. He previously served as Provost of Southampton College, a residential liberal arts college affiliated with Long Island University. Prior to joining Long Island University, Dan was Assistant Vice President for Administration and Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President at Duke University. He has also held positions in the Office of the Provost at Stanford and in academic health affairs at Harvard. Dan earned a BA cum laude from Williams College, a EdM from Harvard University, and an MBA, certificate in Public Management, and PhD in higher education from Stanford University. He is active in numerous professional associations and is a trustee of The College Board.
Lisa Savereid came to Isaacson, Miller as a Vice President in 1994 from a background in government and business. She began her career managing a mix of economic and community development, public safety, and civil rights issues for Boston Mayor Kevin H. White. She then joined the general management consulting practice of Price Waterhouse, and later served in executive positions at two of Boston's most successful real estate development and investment firms: Cabot, Cabot & Forbes and The Beacon Companies. At Isaacson, Miller, Lisa plays an important role in our higher education practice, leading a series of senior academic and administrative searches for some of our most prominent university clients. Her practice also includes leadership recruitment for advocacy, philanthropy, and economic and community development clients. She has developed a specialty in serving client organizations that cross sector lines to build partnerships among business, government, and the civic sector. She holds a BA in ancient Greek and philosophy from the University of Kent at Canterbury, Kent, UK.
Barbara R. Stevens joined Isaacson, Miller in early 2000 after extensive experience in higher education, including 20 years in senior management roles at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Georgetown University. At Isaacson, Miller she has led the development of the firm's higher education presidential search practice. A commitment to partnerships among different constituencies has been a cornerstone of her work. At Yale she worked closely with the officers of the university, leaders of the state and city government and community organizations to link university, government and community objectives. In her role as Chief of Staff to the President at the University of Pennsylvania, she spearheaded a number of university/West Philadelphia initiatives in the areas of economic development, education, and urban greening. As Vice President and Secretary of the University of Pennsylvania, she was the primary liaison between the President, the Board of Trustees and the Boards of Overseers of the university's 12 schools. In this role she also was responsible for internal and external communications, including press and media, and managed dean and presidential searches. Most recently, at Georgetown University, she served the executive committee of the President's cabinet and the Senior Vice President in their re-sizing and administrative improvement endeavors. Barbara attended Wellesley College and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Alan Wichlei joined Isaacson, Miller in 1986. In his early career, Alan gravitated to innovative human service initiatives, helping translate imaginative concepts into practical programs. He co-founded the first psychiatric group home for adults in the state of Rhode Island. Over the next ten years, he grew this endeavor from a single program design in one residence to a multi-state agency providing the full range of residential and psychosocial rehabilitation services for the chronically mentally ill and their families. After a mid-career hiatus at Harvard, he was persuaded to join Isaacson, Miller, where he has not only participated in nearly every practice area in the firm, but has also contributed substantially to its management and development. He led the introduction of the firm’s information systems and its professional development program and has consistently guided its knowledge management systems. His practice includes leadership searches for academic institutions, faith-based organizations, private and community foundations, human service endeavors, organizations redefining their market strategy, and the convergence of IT and library leadership in the academic world. He earned his BA from Yale and his MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Karen A. Wilcox joined Isaacson, Miller in 1985 and has overseen searches in the full range of the firm's practices. She heads our conservation practice, having recruited CEOs for many of the country's leading environmental and conservation organizations. She has also led searches in the foundation community for independent, family, community, and corporate philanthropies and for infrastructure organizations in the field. In addition, Karen works with a variety of research and educational institutions, advocacy groups, cultural institutions, and socially responsible businesses. She focuses primarily on CEO searches, working with board search committees. She also serves as a permanent member of Isaacson, Miller's six-person Executive Committee. Karen started her early career in magazine publishing and later worked as a consultant with urban housing and nuclear disarmament organizations. After graduate school, she worked in New York as an organizational and management consultant to entrepreneurial companies before returning to her hometown of Boston to join Isaacson, Miller. She holds a BA in English from Harvard University and a Master of Public and Private Management from Yale University.