Office: Washington, D.C.

LIONEL ANDERSON

Managing Director

LIONEL ANDERSON

Managing Director

Lionel Anderson is a Managing Director in the Education, Nonprofit, and Arts and Culture Practice at Diversified Search, where he partners with colleges, universities, foundations, and nonprofits to understand their leadership needs, prepare for leadership transition, and identify, vet, and onboard talent into executive leadership roles.

Anderson began his career in executive search at Isaacson, Miller, where he recruited senior leadership for colleges, universities, and foundations. Within higher education, he has focused on presidential searches. His previous clients include the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Morehouse College, New York University, Northeastern University, Smith College, Temple University, Tuskegee University, and the University of Bridgeport.

For roughly a decade prior to search, Anderson served in various capacities in undergraduate student development, including serving as the Assistant Director in the Office of Academic Resources at Haverford College and as an academic adviser, adjunct instructor, and student retention coordinator at the Fox School of Business at Temple University. As an inaugural board member of TeenSHARP, a nonprofit college preparatory program for promising low-income students in Camden and Philadelphia, Anderson led efforts to fund the organization’s early college tours with students, while also publishing seasonal op-eds with The New York Times around undergraduate student success.

CONTACT

Phone: 202.734.4876

E-Mail: Lionel.Anderson@divsearch.com

Location: Washington, DC

EDUCATION

Master of Science - Higher Education Management

University of Pennsylvania

Bachelor of Arts - Sociology

University of Pennsylvania

PRACTICE AREAS

EDUCATION, NONPROFIT, AND ARTS AND CULTURE

CORINA BENITZ

Research Associate

CORINA BENITZ

Research Associate

Corina Benitz is a Research Associate at Diversified Search, joining the firm in 2018.

Prior to entering the executive search field, Benitz worked as a Development Associate for the Board of Directors of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. There she was responsible for, among other things, the planning and execution of quarterly board meetings, preparation of collateral for board presentations, major gift donor engagement strategy, and assisting with the planning of fundraising events and the annual orchestra gala. Her research experience in this role included the identifying, researching, and profiling of prospective donors.

Benitz began her professional career in the arts world, first as a Sales and Client Relationship Manager for a prominent Virginia sculptor, and subsequently as a Sales and Auction Associate at The Potomack Company, an Alexandria, Virginia antiques and fine arts auction gallery.

CONTACT

Phone: 202.350.9818

E-Mail: Corina.Benitz@divsearch.com

Location: Washington, DC

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Science - Business Marketing and Art History

University of Richmond

PRACTICE AREAS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS DEVELOPMENT AND PHILANTHROPY EDUCATION, NONPROFIT, AND ARTS AND CULTURE FINANCIAL SERVICES

DENIELLE PEMBERTON-HEARD, ESQ.

General Counsel and Managing Director

DENIELLE PEMBERTON-HEARD, ESQ.

General Counsel and Managing Director

Denielle Pemberton-Heard is the General Counsel and Managing Director for Diversified Search, 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.

CONTACT

Phone: 202.567.6971

E-Mail: dpembertonheard@divsearch.com

Location: Washington, DC

EDUCATION

Juris Doctor

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Bachelor of Arts - Political Science

Tufts University

PRACTICE AREAS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS CEO CONSUMER AND RETAIL DIGITAL, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SPORTS EDUCATION, NONPROFIT, AND ARTS AND CULTURE STEMCONNECTOR

DALE E. JONES

President and Chief Executive Officer

DALE E. JONES

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dale E. Jones is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Diversified Search. His responsibilities include oversight and management of the firm and its global CEO Advisory Services.

A native of Dallas, Jones was the son of a shoe cobbler/janitor and a kindergarten teacher; beginning at age 10, young Dale would often join his dad and brother on weekends cleaning office buildings. Advised by a family pastor and influenced by the fact that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King had attended there, Jones enrolled at Atlanta’s Morehouse College. He began his career in banking, before moving into executive search as a managing partner in the Atlanta office of Heidrick & Struggles International in 1999. Always looking for ways to give back, Jones took a hiatus from the search industry in 2007, relocating to Washington, D.C. to lead a philanthropic foundation, endowed by AOL founder Steve Case and his wife, Jean, that was dedicated to finding clean water in Africa.

Jones returned to executive search in 2009, rejoining Heidrick & Struggles to serve as Vice Chairman and Partner of the CEO and Board Practice, where he consulted CEOs and corporate boards on human capital issues including recruiting, retention, succession planning, and corporate governance. He also served as one of the firm’s leaders in the Global Communications and Global Consumer Practice, and was later asked to oversee the CEO and Board Practice in the Americas.

In 2013, when founder Judith M. von Seldeneck moved into the role of Chairman at Diversified Search, Jones was named the firm’s new President and CEO, based in Washington, D.C. His philosophy on great leadership is simple: “I think it is important that leaders have the ability to inspire and motivate people and to lead by example. I think the best leaders have been through some testing in their journey, so that they can really empathize, not only with the people that they lead, but with their customers.”

Jones is a member of several notable national corporate and philanthropic boards, most notably those of Northwestern Mutual, Kohl’s Inc., Princeton Theological Seminary, and his alma mater, Morehouse College. He is also a Global Board Member of AltoPartners. He formerly served as National Advisory Board Vice Chairman for The Salvation Army.

LESLIE CRUZ

CEO, STEMconnector®

LESLIE CRUZ

CEO, STEMconnector®

Leslie Cruz is the CEO of Stemconnector, a consortium of companies, nonprofit associations, professional societies, STEM-related research and policy organizations, government entities, universities, and academic institutions concerned with STEM education and the future of human capital in the United States. She joined STEMconnector, a Diversified Search company, in 2017.

A leader with deep experience in the technology field, Cruz spent the 20 years prior to STEMconnector as an executive with CEB, an Arlington, Virginia-based global professional services firm that assists business leaders in developing growth strategies and solutions. She boasts an impressive track record of growing businesses and delivering innovations that provide stellar returns on investment.

STEMconnector is both a resource and a service, designed to link “all things STEM” through comprehensive Councils and services that enable talent and jobs collaboration. STEMconnector client councils and services include: The Global STEM Talent Initiative(GSTS); Million Women Mentors(MWM); STEM Innovation Task Force; STEM Food & Ag Council; STEM Higher Education Council; and initiatives such as Day of Design and the 100 Leaders publication series.

CONTACT

Phone: 202.304.1958

E-Mail: Leslie.Cruz@divsearch.com

Location: Washington, DC

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts - Psychology

Vanderbilt University

PRACTICE AREAS

STEMCONNECTOR

EDIE FRASER

Founder and Chairman, STEMconnector®

EDIE FRASER

Founder and Chairman, STEMconnector®

Edie Fraser is Founder and Chairman of STEMconnector, where she works to build the one-stop communications and best practices initiative for STEM. She also serves as a Senior Consultant of Diversified Search, where she previously directed the Washington and government business. She brings to her role over four decades of experience in supporting diversity at the most senior levels of corporations, organizations, and government in the U.S. and globally.

Prior to joining Diversified Search, Fraser was Founder and CEO of Diversity Best Practices, a member service for diversity practitioners. There, she designed the CEO Diversity Leadership program, including the prestigious CEO Diversity Awards. She is also the founder of the Business Women’s Network, and Vice Chair of the World Affairs Council in D.C.

For her role in these and several other enterprises, Fraser has won 45 major leadership awards, including the Mosaic Award from Diversity Woman, and an induction into the Enterprising Women’s Hall of Fame.

CONTACT

Phone: 202.296.5222

E-Mail: Edie.Fraser@divsearch.com

Location: Washington, DC

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts - Political Science

Duke University

PRACTICE AREAS

STEMCONNECTOR

GORDON W. HAWTHORNE, JD

Senior Advisor

GORDON W. HAWTHORNE, JD

Senior Advisor

As a Diversified Search Senior Advisor, Gordon Hawthorne provides advisory services related to identifying, attracting, onboarding, motivating, and retaining premium leadership talent while aligning them with evolving market strategies and leadership models.

Hawthorne brings over 20 years of national experience in facilitating boards and executive teams. He has worked with health-related, multi-mission organizations that have a focus on health system design and integration, and executive and top team assessment and impact. His expertise also reaches into the areas of executive and physician performance, compensation and total reward, physician integration/value alignment, governance development and recruiting, and succession planning.

Hawthorne’s client list includes Jefferson Health, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Main Line Health, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and many more.

Prior to joining Diversified Search, Hawthorne was National Healthcare Practice Leader for Hay Group, Inc., a global professional service firm where he led the development of client leadership and business solutions. His advisory expertise is supplemented by over 20 years of executive leadership in integrated health systems, with specific expertise in clinical operations, market strategy, system integration, managed care, and physician integration and alignment.

CONTACT

Phone: 703.725.9147

E-Mail: gordonhawthorne1@gmail.com

Location: Washington, DC

EDUCATION

Juris Doctor

University of Arkansas

Master of Science - Healthcare Administration

Trinity University

Bachelor of Science - Business and Marketing

Trinity University

PRACTICE AREAS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS HEALTHCARE SERVICES

GENE E. HEAD

Managing Director

GENE E. HEAD

Managing Director

Gene E. Head is a Managing Director in the Washington DC office, where he conducts senior leadership assignments across a range of industry sectors specializing in higher education and nonprofits.

Head also serves on the Executive Committee of Washington, D.C.-based STEMconnector, a Diversified Search company that focuses on bridging the gap between higher education and industry needs. Through collaborative efforts with higher education, corporate, and healthcare organizations, as well as the U.S. Departments of Education, Energy, Agriculture, and Commerce, Head works to advance a jobs-driven economy throughout the country.

His clients include the University of Alabama System; University of California System; Samford University; UC Berkeley; California Baptist University; the International Justice Mission; the United Nations; the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and the Woodruff Foundation.

Prior to joining Diversified Search, Head was a senior partner with a boutique search firm, where he orchestrated senior leadership searches in the higher education, nonprofit, and healthcare sectors.

Prior to entering executive search, Head enjoyed a 27-year career in advertising and marketing for a privately held business, where he led the company’s growth through the demonstration of exceptional customer service and innovation. During his time in this role, many of his clients were with him for 20-plus years

CONTACT

Phone: 404.942.6311

E-Mail: Gene.Head@divsearch.com

Location: Washington, DC

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Science - Business Management

Samford University

PRACTICE AREAS

DEVELOPMENT AND PHILANTHROPY EDUCATION, NONPROFIT, AND ARTS AND CULTURE

JASON D. LEÓN, CPA

Managing Director

JASON D. LEÓN, CPA

Managing Director

Jason D. León, MPA, CPA, is the Managing Director of the Washington, D.C. office of Diversified Search and specializes in Board, CFO, and nonprofit searches.

Prior to joining Diversified Search, León was the Senior Director of Corporate Relations & Programs for the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), where he was responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive corporate relations strategies for increasing the representation of Hispanic executives in upper management and on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. His unique expertise in leadership development and nonprofit management led to the growth of both HACR’s corporate membership and leadership programs designed to provide companies a diverse set of platforms to enhance their external and internal diversity strategies in the areas of governance, procurement, employment, and philanthropy.

Prior to his role at HACR, León worked at National Urban Fellows (NUF), a premier leadership development organization and voice of authority on leadership diversity in the U.S., serving as the Alumni & Social Media Program Manager. A proud MPA alumnus of NUF, León completed his fellowship at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where his public finance expertise contributed to the success of an initiative to advance education, training and financial analysis in public health finance. He is a certified public accountant and worked five years as the Finance Director and Chief of Administration for the City of Isabela in Puerto Rico, where he made lasting contributions that restructured the cities’ financial structure, staff, and standing as one of the soundest municipalities in Puerto Rico.

León is a member of the Greater Washington Society of CPAs.

CONTACT

Phone: 202.296.0606

E-Mail: Jason.Leon@divsearch.com

Location: Washington, DC

EDUCATION

National Urban Fellows, Alumnus

Master of Public Administration - Philanthropy, Nonprofit Management

Baruch College (CUNY) 

Bachelor of Business Administration

Inter American University of Puerto Rico

PRACTICE AREAS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS DEVELOPMENT AND PHILANTHROPY EDUCATION, NONPROFIT, AND ARTS AND CULTURE FINANCIAL OFFICERS PRIVATE EQUITY

NALINI PERKINS

Managing Director

NALINI PERKINS

Managing Director

Nalini Vasagam Perkins has more than 20 years of experience in the recruitment of senior executives for organizations across the nonprofit, healthcare, and public sectors, both domestically and internationally. She brings a particular focus on nonprofit organizations, and works closely with search committees and boards. Her clients include global development organizations, relief agencies, foundations, and social services and faith-based institutions. She recruits senior-level executives for national and international health and welfare organizations, cultural institutions, religious organizations, social service and professional associations, as well as hospitals, health systems, and academic medical centers.

Perkins conducts searches at the CEO, COO, CFO, and vice president levels, as well as assigning direct reports to these positions. She has led numerous searches in the areas of development/fundraising, marketing and communications, business development, finance, and human resources. Perkins partners with her clients in creating new leadership roles and works with boards as they undergo CEO transitions.

Prior to joining Diversified Search, Perkins was a Managing Partner with Lochlin Partners, and previously spent more than a decade working as an Executive Director of the Nonprofit Sector at Russell Reynolds Associates. In both firms, she significantly grew the nonprofit practices. Prior to joining Russell Reynolds Associates, Perkins worked as an Associate at Heidrick & Struggles.

CONTACT

Phone: 202.729.3922

E-Mail: Nalini.Perkins@divsearch.com

Location: Washington, DC

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Science - Psychology

The Catholic University of America

PRACTICE AREAS

DEVELOPMENT AND PHILANTHROPY EDUCATION, NONPROFIT, AND ARTS AND CULTURE

IVAN PERRY

Managing Director

IVAN PERRY

Managing Director

Ivan Perry is a Managing Director at Diversified Search and is based in the Washington, D.C. office, where he partners with clients seeking executives possessing a diversity of culture and thought leadership at both the national and international level across multiple functional areas within the firm’s Innovation and Transformation, Human Resources, Industrial, and Life Sciences practices.

Prior to joining Diversified, Ivan was a Partner with Hanold Associates, a Chicago-based retained executive search firm where he focused on the recruitment of CHROs, leaders in talent acquisition and talent management, and human resources business partners. Before that, he was an associate with Heidrick & Struggles in Chicago, where he worked across several key practices, conducting searches focused on CEO, Board, Operations, and Financial Officers placements.

Ivan began his career in the United States Air Force prior to joining the executive search industry. He promoted to the rank of Captain, where he functioned as the Chief of Intelligence for multiple flying squadrons and as an Acquisitions Program Manager for multimillion-dollar systems. A proud veteran, Ivan served three tours in Afghanistan supporting the International Security Assistance Force during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Passionate in his efforts to give back to the veteran community, Ivan is a member of the Board of Directors of The Soldiers Project, a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization that provides post-9/11 veterans and their families with free, confidential, and unlimited mental health services. He also actively participates in veteran outreach programs within the Washington D.C. greater metropolitan area.

CONTACT

Phone: 312.576.0964

E-Mail: Ivan.Perry@divsearch.com

Location: Washington, DC

EDUCATION

Master of Science – Communication

Northwestern University

Bachelor of Science – Management

U.S. Air Force Academy

PRACTICE AREAS

HUMAN RESOURCES LIFE SCIENCES INNOVATION AND TRANSFORMATION EDUCATION, NONPROFIT, AND ARTS AND CULTURE INDUSTRIAL PRIVATE EQUITY

KARLA R. SAUNDERS

Vice President and Senior Associate

KARLA R. SAUNDERS

Vice President and Senior Associate

Karla Saunders is a Vice President and Senior Associate at Diversified Search, based in Washington, D.C. She joined the firm in 2017, bringing expertise in nonprofit/advocacy and law school searches, and rigor in the placements of women and members of underrepresented groups. She also has experience in other disciplines of higher education. Prior to joining Diversified Search, Saunders performed search work at Isaacson, Miller.

Saunders previously worked on as a lobbyist concerned with whole-life issues, from preK-to-12 education, higher education, employment, and economic security planning for retirees. She was also an advocate for diversity in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She advocated at the federal, regional, and state levels for the Girl Scouts of the USA and the American Chemical Society. She is also a former small-business entrepreneur.

CONTACT

Phone: 202.734.4876

E-Mail: Karla.Saunders@divsearch.com

Location: Washington, DC

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts - Anthropology

University of Virginia

PRACTICE AREAS

DEVELOPMENT AND PHILANTHROPY EDUCATION, NONPROFIT, AND ARTS AND CULTURE