Passionate, smart, and committed to your success

Katie Bouton

Founder & CEO

Guided by the belief that “the right person in the right place can change the world,” Katie founded Koya Leadership Partners in 2004 to recruit exceptionally talented leaders to nonprofit clients. Today, Koya has been recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms and by Hunt Scanlon Media as one of the top 50 fastest growing executive search firms. Today the Koya team numbers more than 40 professionals who partner with nonprofits across the country and around the world to place exceptional leaders.

With over 20 years of experience in executive search and organizational development, Katie has built senior leadership teams at leading national and international nonprofit organizations and partnered closely with founders, boards and donors to deepen the impact of today’s most pioneering mission-driven organizations.

In addition to executive search, Katie’s particular areas of focus include leadership, retention, and diversity initiatives. She has developed and executed professional development trainings on a variety of topics from leadership development to recruitment and retention best practices.

Katie’s thought leadership has been widely quoted and published in leading publications such as Harvard Business Review. She was featured by the Boston Business Journal as an Emerging Leader for her success as founder and CEO of Koya. In 2016, Katie was named a 2016 Boston Brava Award Winner by SmartCEO, which recognizes high-impact women business leaders. She is also a Fellow at Pipeline Angels, a network of new and seasoned women investors, that is changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women social entrepreneurs.

Katie began her career in the public sector as a human resources generalist at the Institute for Teaching and Research on Women and the Women’s Law Center of Maryland. She then moved to the private sector, working as a human resources manager at Edelman Public Relations and ChildrenFirst.

With a strong commitment to civic leadership, Katie serves on numerous boards including the national board of IGNITE, a bipartisan initiative that builds political ambition in young women. She was invited to the White House to attend the United States of Women Summit focused on key gender equality issues.

Katie holds a Master of Science in Organizational Development from Towson University and a Bachelor of Science in English, Journalism & Women’s Studies from the University of New Hampshire.



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Molly Brennan

Founding Partner

Molly joined Koya in its early years and has worked in close partnership with Founder and CEO Katie Bouton to grow the firm over the last decade. In addition to leading searches, Molly also oversees search operations, marketing, and communications at Koya.

Molly has partnered with boards of directors and senior leaders to identify and place exceptional leaders for a range of clients, including the William Davidson Foundation, Amnesty International USA, Sierra Club, Right to Play, Slow Food USA, and Natural Resources Defense Council.

Molly’s particular areas of focus include leadership, retention, and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Her thought leadership has been widely quoted and published in leading publications such as Stanford Social Innovation, Philanthropy Digest and Society for Human Resource Management. Partnering with Education Pioneers, a leader in placing top leaders in education, Molly co-authored a report that addresses the pathway to more diverse leadership.

Prior to joining Koya, she was a senior editor for LifeWorks, a division of the Ceridian Corporation, where she developed educational materials and strategic communications designed to improve employee engagement and increase retention. Molly also worked closely with clients to create customized materials and programs to help employees excel at work and in their personal lives.

She is a member of the board of directors of the Newburyport Education Foundation in Newburyport, MA.

Molly previously worked as a journalist and has a master’s degree in writing and publishing from Emerson College. She is also a Certified Diversity Recruiter.


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Michelle R.S. Bonoan

Managing Director

With nearly 20 years of experience as a search consultant, Michelle has led executive searches across a wide range of industries and functions. As a specialist serving the education, not-for-profit, and arts & culture sectors, she has successfully completed searches for executives at the highest tiers, including: president/CEO, executive director, chief financial officer, fundraising leadership, program management, and a wide range of other key positions. Her clients are nationwide and encompass major non-profit organizations dedicated to education, social services, arts and culture, children and family services, environment, and health-related issues, as well as prominent educational institutions such as research and private universities, small liberal arts colleges, and independent college preparatory schools.

Michelle began her career in executive search in 1996 with a boutique retained executive search firm based in Los Angeles serving education institutions, non-profit organizations, and corporations nationwide. She established the firm’s practice exclusively serving education and non-profit clients, and ultimately became vice president and education & non-profit practice leader. In 2011, she worked for a national search firm where she opened the Southern California office dedicated to the education and not-for-profit sectors to strengthen the firm’s brand in the western region. Most recently Michelle was a Partner with Heidrick & Struggles, one of the top four global executive search firms where she was a core member of the Education, Nonprofit and Social Enterprise practice.

Michelle received her BBA degree in management from California State University, Northridge.


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Andrew Evans

Managing Director

Andy brings 30 years of experience to Koya, and is well positioned to lead executive searches for both academic and financial leaders at colleges and universities, research institutes, and other subsidiary organizations. Andy has held senior leadership positions in higher education at Tufts University and Oberlin College, and served as the chief financial officer at Wellesley College.

Prior to Koya, Andy served as Principal at Neumann Executive Search Partners.

Andy has led searches at Barnard College, University of Southern Maine, Northeastern University, Oberlin College, Pine Manor College, College of New Jersey, University of New Hampshire, Brandeis University, Simmons College, Trinity College, Colby-Sawyer College, Dartmouth College, Rice University, MCCo (Case Western Reserve University), Boston University, Pomona College, and Swarthmore College.

Andy has served on a number of boards supporting higher education and was a commissioner of CIHE/NEASC, the regional accrediting association for institutions of higher education in New England. Earlier in his career, in addition to work in public accounting, Andy was a U.S. Foreign Service officer for the Agency for International Development; he served overseas in Afghanistan and Indonesia in a variety of management positions, and in Washington, D.C. as the controller of the USAID/Asia bureau.

Andy is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. He also holds an M.B.A. from George Washington University, and is a C.P.A.


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Liz Neumann

Managing Director

Liz brings to Koya nearly 30 years of experience in financial management, organizational consulting, and executive search. Prior to Koya, Liz was a founding principal and leader at Brill Neumann Associates for 14 years and most recently Neumann Executive Search Partners.

At Koya, Liz leads searches in areas including business, budget, finance and administration, human resources, information technology, and strategy for higher education, medical, and research organizations.

Earlier in her career, Liz held financial management positions at National Amusements Inc., Laventhal and Horvath, and in entertainment, real estate, and nonprofit organizations. She also worked for Auerbach Associates, a national executive search firm.

Liz has been a conflict resolution/management consultant for churches in Massachusetts and a volunteer for the South Shore Hospice. She currently serves on the board of the Brookfield Institute, an organization committed to cultivating and harvesting peace.

Liz holds a B.A. from Boston University.


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Alison P. Ranney

Managing Director

Alison Ranney specializes in leading CEO, President, Executive Director and other senior executive searches for mission-driven clients across the country and around the world. Based in Chicago, she leads the Chicago Office of Koya Leadership Partners.

Alison partners with a broad range of clients including foundations, cultural institutions, membership organizations, other nonprofits, colleges and universities. She has successfully led searches at the CEO, President, Executive Director, Dean, COO, CFO and VP levels as well as Board members.

Representative clients include the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Obama Foundation, the Art Institute of Chicago, the United Way and the American Red Cross. Alison also has deep expertise in Higher Education having led searches for the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Stanford University, Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania, among others.

Prior to joining Koya, Alison was with Russell Reynolds Associates, the global executive search firm. At Russell Reynolds, she led the development of the Nonprofit practice in the Midwest and received the firm’s inaugural award for Excellence in Client Service.

Alison began her career at Skadden, Arps, where she was a corporate attorney with a focus on mergers and acquisitions. She also served as Vice President at the real estate development firm responsible for Prairie Crossing, the award-winning conservation community, and as an executive with AT&T Wireless where she specialized in joint ventures.

With a strong commitment to civic involvement, Alison serves on the Boards of Public Radio International (PRI), World Business Chicago, the Goodman Theatre and Forefront (formerly the Donors Forum). Alison served on the Board of Directors of WBEZ/Chicago Public Media for 12 years and chaired the CEO Search Committee for the highly successful current CEO. Alison was on the Founding Board of City Year Chicago and the Board of Ryerson Woods Conservation Area.

For her alma maters, Alison has served on the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago Law School and the Alumni Council of Philips Andover Academy.

Alison is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and The Chicago Network.  She was selected as an Emerging Leader by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Alison is on the Board of Directors of the flagship bank of Wintrust Financial Corporation where she is active on the Compensation & Nominating, Audit and Business Development Committees.

Alison received her B.A., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in Urban Studies from Brown University. She earned her M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.



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Meghan Seidman

Chief of Staff

Meghan Seidman brings over twenty years of experience in philanthropy to her role as chief of staff. In this capacity, Meghan collaborates with the CEO and teams on strategic planning, organizational systems, and special projects.

Prior to her time at Koya, she was involved in direct fundraising as a Director of Development for the Rose Art Museum and as Chief of Institutional Advancement at Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly. Previously, Meghan was Vice President for Hunt Alternatives Fund; in this capacity she was responsible for the Fund’s daily operations, participated on the senior management team, and directed strategy and planning for all fundraising activities. Meghan was Director of Development and CFO for the Community Therapeutic Day School, and also worked for Rafanelli Events Management Company.

Meghan is the President of Women in Development of Greater Boston. She also volunteers her time with Catie’s Closet and Acton Public Schools.

Meghan holds a dual degree in English and Women’s Studies from the University of New Hampshire, an MBA from Brandeis University with a focus in nonprofit management, and a certificate in human resource management from Cornell University.


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Miecha Forbes

Vice President, People, Culture and Values

Miecha is a primary client lead in Koya’s Human Capital Consulting practice. She brings a unique combination of human capital, executive search and consulting experience from both nonprofit and for-profit sectors as she helps organizations solve their most complex people challenges to achieve strategic goals.

Originally joining Koya as an executive search director, Miecha has a deep appreciation for all that goes into finding talent and putting them in the right seat on the bus within an organization. She understands firsthand the importance candidates place on assessing professional growth opportunity and organizational culture, and she pairs this with a deep understanding of the need for employers to retain and develop staff. She specializes in helping clients consider, improve and align all phases of the employee lifecycle.

Miecha spent four years at KIPP Foundation where she led the Talent Acquisition team responsible for more than doubling the staff during her tenure. She also played a lead role in the organization’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative. Miecha began her career in consulting at the Brattle Group, where she managed all undergraduate and graduate school recruiting, the firm’s primary source of talent acquisition.

Miecha received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and African-American Studies from Brown University.


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Liz Lombard

Vice President, Executive Search

Liz brings more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit search, particularly with recruitment fundraising executives, to lead a wide range of Koya’s search engagements.

Prior to joining Koya, Liz served as Vice President of Executive Search for a large philanthropic consulting firm serving nonprofit organizations throughout the Northeast. Her professional experience also includes five years in healthcare, supporting global sales efforts as well as human resources for the Medical Division of Siemens USA Corporation.

Liz holds an Associate’s Degree in Communications from Champlain College and is a member of Women in Development and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Massachusetts.


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Marissa Martin

Vice President, Executive Search

With more than 10 years experience in the executive search industry, Marissa has successfully completed executive and senior level leadership positions across functions and industries. At Koya Leadership Partners, Marissa leads a portfolio of executive level searches specializing in development and external relations.

Prior to joining Koya, Marissa served as Vice President, Global Research for DHR International, a top five retained search firm. She was responsible for overall coordination and management of DHR International global search execution. She was also a key leader in the development of the education and nonprofit practice with DHR. Deeply committed to client service, Marissa was awarded the Chairman’s Award for Excellence multiple times and was instrumental in the global expansion of the organization in Asia, Europe and South America.

Marissa’s commitment to the nonprofit field began with when she worked at Christopher House, a nationally recognized social service organization in Chicago that supports low-income families.

An active community member and leader, Marissa serves on the Board for the Instituto del Progreso Latino and the Planning Committee with P.E.A.K (Partnership for the Education and Advancement of Kids). She also volunteers regularly with a number of Chicago nonprofits and local food pantries.

Marissa earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Marquette University.


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Erin Reedy

Vice President, Executive Search

As the Vice President of Executive Search, Erin leads a portfolio of Koya’s executive-level searches, partnering with clients to place exceptional candidates across the country.

Prior to joining Koya, Erin worked for Commongood Careers for six years and managed over 140 searches for nonprofit clients across the country. Previously, Erin worked for 11 years at the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation. In this capacity, she oversaw multifamily development, creating 200+ new affordable units annually as well as preserving and renovating 2,000 existing affordable units. Her background includes work in nonprofit public relations, community outreach, research, and special projects.

Erin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The College of the Holy Cross and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


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Beth Schaefer

Vice President, Executive Search

Beth has 20 years of corporate experience in human resources roles and over a decade of search experience in the corporate and higher education arenas. At Koya, she specializes in searches for senior leadership roles in human resources, diversity and inclusion, financial management, enrollment management, institutional research, and other areas of higher education administration.

Prior to joining Koya, Beth spent five years with Neumann Executive Search Partners (formerly, Brill Neumann Associates), first as a senior consultant and later as principal, where she developed a wide network of contacts through her work in a variety of areas across academic and administrative leadership roles.

Previously, Beth worked as a search consultant at a regional search firm focused on human resources leadership roles. Prior to moving into executive search, Beth served in a variety of corporate human resources positions. Beth has led searches for Simmons College, Emory University, Boston College, Ithaca College, Vanderbilt University, Wellesley College, University of North Carolina, Wayne State University, and the University of Washington.

Beth is an active member of Boston-area human resources organizations, local community arts and environmental sustainability organizations and volunteers at a women’s shelter.

She has a B.S. in Business from Providence College and an M.B.A. from Simmons School of Management.


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Amy Sugin

Vice President, Executive Search

Amy brings to Koya over two decades of higher education administration experience in enrollment management, program management, and international education. Amy joined Koya after serving as principal at Neumann Executive Search (formerly, Brill Neumann Associates).

Prior, Amy served as Assistant Dean for Graduate and International Programs at Cardozo School of Law, developing and overseeing postgraduate programs and study abroad opportunities for law students. Her background informs her practice at Koya in a wide range of areas, including finance, budget, student affairs, international programs, enrollment management and academic administration.

Amy has held leadership positions in academic advising at Queens College and in enrollment management at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rothberg International School. She also spent a semester traveling around the world on a ship as a staff member on Semester at Sea.

Amy holds a B.A. in English Literature from Binghamton University; an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from New York University; and has completed coursework in a Ph.D. program in Comparative International Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Amy is based in New York City.


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Trisha Sutrisno

Vice President, Executive Search

Trisha specializes in executive searches for leading nonprofits nationwide and internationally. In this role, Trisha is responsible for all aspects of the executive search lifecycle, from candidate development to partnering closely with clients to place and onboard top talent.

Previously, Trisha spent six years on the executive search team at The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit advisor and resource for mission-driven organizations and philanthropists. She has extensive experience executing President/Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Operating Officer searches for high-performing social enterprises and foundations ranging in operating budgets and assets up to $9BN.

Trisha is a graduate of the Schreyer Honor’s College at Penn State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Labor and Industrial Relations.

Trisha is Certified Diversity Recruiter.



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Rebecca Brodish

Senior Director, Research

Rebecca works closely with search leads to develop and implement research-based strategies for all Koya searches.

Prior to joining Koya, Rebecca helped launch EBSCO Publishing’s Sustainability Watch report, a publication presenting best practices in a variety of sustainability areas, including long-term sustainable business practices. Prior to that, Rebecca provided strategic communications support for Montserrat College of Art, a small private arts school in Massachusetts, and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Rebecca began her career as Executive Recruiter and Manager of Research for a Boston-area search firm, where she successfully conducted VP and C-level searches for nonprofit, high-tech and biotech clients, and built the firm’s in-house research function.

Rebecca holds a Master of Arts in English from Boston College, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in English from Tufts University.

Rebecca is Certified Diversity Recruiter.


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Jane DiGangi

Senior Director, Operations

Jane’s primary focus at Koya is to provide operational leadership to Koya team members to assist them in successfully delivering on their client engagements while developing new strategies and techniques for the next phase of our company’s growth.

A fundraising professional for nearly 30 years, Jane has a proven record in non-profit organizations as well as operations and program management in the for-profit setting of fundraising consulting and executive recruitment. Most recently the Director of Donor Relations & Stewardship at Suffolk University.

Jane holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Fairfield University.


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Casey Robinson

Senior Director, Marketing and Communications

Casey brings 20 years of strategic marketing, corporate communications, and business writing and editing experience to her role as Senior Director of Marketing. Casey’s primary focus is to drive marketing strategies that support Koya’s business development efforts and ongoing growth.

Prior to joining Koya, Casey spent eight years as an independent consultant helping nonprofit and for-profit organizations create, prioritize, and execute smart and effective marketing plans. Prior to her consultant work, Casey oversaw marketing and communications for a boutique consulting firm in Boston, where she helped refresh the 22-year brand and transition it successfully after buyout. Casey began her career at Work/Family Directions, managing content and publications development and overseeing the company’s charitable contributions efforts.

Casey received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Amherst College and earned a Master of Business Administration degree with highest distinction from Simmons School of Management.


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Medelene Beasley

Principal, Executive Search

Based in San Francisco, Medelene brings 12+ years of executive search experience both in nonprofit and for profit sectors. She brings full life cycle search experience from needs assessment, candidate development to client management.

Prior to Koya, Medelene worked at Spencer Stuart, a leading executive search firm in the Technology, Media and Telecom Practice. Her professional experience includes experience in Healthcare at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, supporting executive searches for the National Leadership Team reporting to the CEO, and in Higher Ed at University of California, Berkeley supporting a wide range of departments including Undergraduate Admissions, College of Letter’s and Sciences, Residential Student Service Programs, Services for International Students and Scholars, Budget and Planning, Lawrence Hall of Science and International & Area Studies.

Medelene began her career at a start-up boutique search firm, 1EXECSTREET, in the industrial sector, where she was trained in behavioral based interviewing by Dr. Bob Chiron, author of “The Evaluation Interview”.

Medelene holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at University of California, Berkeley.


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Alexandra Corvin

Principal, Executive Search

Based in San Francisco, Alexandra “Alex” Corvin specializes in recruiting senior executives to nonprofit organizations nationwide. Alex was a founding member of the Koya Chicago office, working closely with Koya’s senior leadership team to build the practice. Alex has recently returned to her hometown of San Francisco to expand Koya’s West Coast presence.

In her role, Alex is responsible for all aspects of the executive search lifecycle, from candidate development to partnering with clients in the placement of top talent. She has successfully helped recruit CEOs, Presidents, Executive Directors, CFOs and Vice Presidents for some of the country’s leading nonprofits. She has expertise working with foundations, cultural institutions, professional organizations and other nonprofits as well as colleges and universities.

Prior to joining Koya, Alex was with Russell Reynolds Associates, the global executive search firm. At Russell Reynolds, Alex helped build the Nonprofit and Education practice in the Midwest and worked with leading nonprofits across the country.

Alex began her career in education, working in low-income communities as a school counselor. She specialized in working with high school students making the transition to college.

Alex holds a Master’s in Education from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Alex is also a Certified Diversity Recruiter.


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Alena Guerra

Principal, Executive Search

Alena specializes in identifying and cultivating mission-driven executive talent for nonprofits nationwide. In this role, Alena is responsible for all aspects of the executive search lifecycle, from candidate development to partnering with clients in the placement of top talent.

A career recruiter, Alena has deep experience managing both client and candidate relationships. Prior to joining Koya, Alena served as Director of Talent at New Profit, a nonprofit venture philanthropy fund, where she provided full cycle talent acquisition and recruitment expertise for roles across all levels and functions of the organization. At New Profit she also helped manage other aspects of talent, including onboarding, performance management, and professional development.

Alena began her career with recruiting roles at two search firms specializing in supporting the nonprofit sector.

Alena holds a Master of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University.


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Sheila Hennessey

Principal, Executive Search

Based in southern California, Sheila joined Koya as an experienced recruiter, having placed senior executives and advancement leadership for nonprofits and universities across the country, with a focus on the West Coast region. Her expertise spans the full recruitment life cycle, including needs assessment, research strategy, candidate development, and client management, and she has over seven years of experience specifically serving nonprofit and university clients.

Prior to joining Koya, she was a recruiter with Higher Talent, a boutique executive search firm based in Washington, DC and southern California, where she specialized in fundraising and advancement searches. Sheila’s clients included the University of Southern California, Johns Hopkins University, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, among many others.

Sheila began her career in management consulting with Bain & Company before moving into corporate communications and public relations with Chevron and Hill & Knowlton. She also served as Executive Director of a nonprofit organization focused on urban revitalization efforts.

A professional actress, Sheila has appeared onstage and in national network television programs including “The Wire” and “Homicide: Life on the Street.” She served as associate producer of the documentary film “Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton,” which aired nationally on PBS.

Sheila earned her BS in Earth Sciences from Stanford University, and her MFA in Classical Acting from The Shakespeare Theater’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University.


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Mo Lashendock

Principal, Executive Search

Mo brings her extensive experience working in higher education and executive search to Koya.

Prior to Koya, Mo worked at Neumann Executive Search Partners where her search work focused on both academic and administrative positions within higher education institutions. She has worked with clients from large public research universities to smaller private liberal arts colleges. Mo often works on searches in the areas of Finance Administration, Information Technology, Enrollment Management, Diversity and Inclusion, Academic Leadership, Research, and Human Resources.

Mo’s career in higher education began as recruiter and academic advisor for Saint Mary’s College; first in Moraga, California and then later in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She then moved into executive search and consulting, managing searches for senior leaders in higher education, nonprofit organizations, finance, and information technology. Throughout her career, she has mentored candidates and provided guidance in their professional development.

She is active in her community and loves spending time with her family, which includes her ridiculously spoiled lab, Tucket.

Mo earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Ohio University.


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Melissa Madzel

Principal, Executive Search

Based in New York City, Melissa is responsible for all aspects of the executive search lifecycle, from candidate development to partnering with clients in the placement of top talent, with focus on social justice and advocacy missions. Recent and representative placements include: CEO for the Foundation for a Just Society, Director of Development for the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Executive Director of the U.S. Human Rights Network, and Executive Director of Community Voices Heard.

In addition to leading and supporting searches, Melissa also serves on the Advisory Council of Equity in the Center, a national initiative dedicated to creating a more diverse and equitable social sector talent pipeline.

Having served the nonprofit sector through development, program, and operations positions, Melissa has first-hand understanding of the needs for a variety of nonprofit roles and organizational cultures. Through previous positions with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF (Deputy Director, Corporate Partnerships), Safe Horizon (Corporate Partnerships Manager), City Year New York (Founding Corps Member and Program Manager), and Cities of Service (Founding Chief of Staff), Melissa has applied a social justice lens to developing marginalized communities and critical missions through a range of functions.

Melissa holds a Master of Social Work from the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, with a specific focus on philanthropy and nonprofit leadership. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in human services and theatre performance from Northeastern University.

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Anne McCarthy

Principal, Executive Search

Anne specializes in recruiting senior executives to nonprofit organizations, cultural institutions and foundations across the country.

Before joining Koya, Anne worked for a retained executive search firm and specialized in assignments for clients in the Insurance and Industrial Manufacturing industries.

Prior to her career in executive search, Anne was with the Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management at Northwestern University where she organized and managed custom and open-enrollment executive education programs focusing on leadership development, fundraising, innovation, marketing, and strategic planning for senior leaders of local and international nonprofit organizations.

Anne is active civically in her hometown of Evanston, Illinois through her work as Junior Board Chair of the Infant Welfare Society of Evanston.

A Chicago native, Anne earned her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Illinois-Chicago.


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Tom Phillips

Principal, Executive Search

As part of the Koya team, Tom identifies and recruits leaders to positions in student affairs, information technology, facilities, compliance, athletics, and finance and administration. A partial listing of clients Tom has engaged with includes Yale University, Northwestern University, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University, Cornell University, Wake Forest University, Rutgers University, Wayne State University, and Oberlin College.

Previously, Tom served as Vice President at Neumann Executive Search Partners. Prior to moving into the executive search world, Tom worked for nearly a decade in student affairs in higher education at the University of Michigan, Oregon State University, and Colorado State University.

In his free time, Tom enjoys swimming competitively and is preparing for the masters swimming world championships to be held in Budapest in the summer of 2017.

Tom has a Master’s degree in Education and Human Resource Studies from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University.


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Samantha Simmons

Director, People Recruitment & Development

Sam serves as the Director, People Recruitment & Development at Koya. In this capacity, she oversees internal hiring, on-boarding, and professional development across the organization.

Previously, Sam was a Principal, Executive Search at Koya. In this role, she focused on building robust pipelines of executive talent, partnering closely with clients to select the best candidate for their needs, along with contributing to the growth of Koya’s client portfolio.

Earlier, Sam was with Education Pioneers, a nonprofit and leadership talent provider for K-12 education organizations nationwide. At Education Pioneers, Sam served as the Manager of Analyst Fellowship Recruiting and led the national recruitment strategy and efforts for 100+ business and data leadership roles at state departments of education, school districts, education consulting firms, education technology startups, charter school networks and other nonprofits in more than 20 cities across the country.

A Florida native, Sam previously served as an Admissions Recruiter at Stetson University.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications at the University of Central Florida.

Sam is also a Certified Diversity Recruiter.


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Tanya Varanelli

Director, Knowledge Management

Tanya oversees all of Koya’s internal systems and platforms providing the critical business analytics required for strategic decision-making and enhanced performance across the organization.

Previously, Tanya served as Koya’s Director of Research, working closely with search leads to develop and implement research-based strategies for all searches. Prior to that, Tanya’s recruiting experience included positions with The Broad Center, DIRECTV, and Bain & Company.

Tanya holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development/Organizational Studies and Human Resources Management from Boston College.


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Shavon Bell

Consultant, Executive Search

As an Executive Search Consultant, Shavon specializes in the evaluation and placement of executive candidates for leading nonprofits nationwide.

Shavon’s career in the nonprofit sector began at the National Minority Supplier Development Council where she connected minority owned businesses with Corporations, looking to diversify their supply chain. Prior to joining Koya, she served as Recruiter at Berklee College of Music, where she built the full-cycle recruiting function and led the search efforts for 500+ staff and faculty positions.

With over 7 years of expertise in developing a network of talent in the non-profit sector, Shavon improved diversity hiring at Berklee by 25%. Her professional experience also includes creating and facilitating trainings for senior leaders on hiring best practices with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

Shavon holds a dual Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Anthropology and Africana Studies from the University of Massachusetts Boston and studied Communications at Hampton University in Virginia.


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Anny Chou

Consultant, Executive Search

Anny is passionate about the social impact sector and connecting the right leaders to the right organizations to drive the next wave of growth and impact. At Koya, Anny specializes in recruiting CEOs, Presidents and Board members as well as senior executives to mission-driven organizations nationwide.

She brings significant client services and project management skills combined with experience in executive recruiting. In addition to her role as a search consultant, Anny has played a key role in business development and Koya’s internal leadership recruitment, contributing to the growth of Koya’s client portfolio and talent.

Prior to Koya, Anny was with Isaacson, Miller where she was first introduced to executive search. She previously worked at Education Pioneers, a leader in placing top talent in education, where she specialized in recruiting experienced professionals to education leadership positions nationwide.

Anny began her career at Morningstar, Inc. in the Leadership Development Program in global data operations. She then joined an innovation consultancy partnering with Fortune 500 clients on new product research and development.

Her commitment to serving the mission-driven sector began when Anny co-founded a mentorship program at Morningstar, connecting employees to volunteer opportunities. For her leadership, she received recognition at Morningstar’s Annual Meeting for outstanding Community Outreach Initiative. Anny has also served as a pro bono consultant for Taproot Foundation advising nonprofits on their strategic plan development.

In addition to her civic engagement, Anny has deep ties to education as a former researcher at the Clayton Christensen Institute, an Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellow and a high school economics and math instructor.

Anny is an active member of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business community serving on the Admissions Committee and as a Board Fellow.

Anny received her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Economics from Carleton College. She earned her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, specializing in Technology, Innovation and Education. Her most recent degree is an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


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Chartise Clark

Consultant, Executive Search

Chartise believes strong communities and strong leaders go hand in hand. Based in Chicago, Chartise focuses on candidate development and client engagement, with an emphasis on managing candidate relationships.

Previously, Chartise was a Talent Manager at KIPP, a leading non-profit network of over 200 college-preparatory, public charter schools. In this role, Chartise focused on recruiting teachers and school leaders for the Bay Area region.

She was introduced to recruitment at UP Education Network, where she was the Manager of Talent Programs and a Manager of Recruitment. During her time at UP, she recruited non-profit and K-12 instructional leaders to join the organization’s groundbreaking work – turning around failing schools in record time.

Chartise is a member of the University Club of Chicago and is active in Chicago’s civic community.

Chartise received her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, with thesis honors, from Tufts University.



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Turner Delano

Consultant, Executive Search

Based in Washington, DC, Turner specializes in recruiting executives to nonprofits nationwide. Turner is focused on all aspects of the search process, from project management to client support. Turner specializes in candidate development while supporting Koya Leadership.

Prior to joining Koya, she served as Managing Producer of a weekly news show on Bloomberg TV Africa where she worked to produce, research and pitch interviews.

Turner attended Simmons College in Boston where she received a dual B.A. in International Affairs and Economics.


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Amber Dudley

Consultant, Executive Search

As an Executive Search Consultant, Amber has a key leadership role on search teams where she focuses on project management and search logistics.

Amber’s commitment to education reform sparks her passion for working with mission-driven organizations and led her to join Koya.

Earlier in her career, Amber joined Teach for America, where she served as a recruiter for Boston-area colleges and universities. At TFA, she developed and implemented strategies for talent management, built relationships with key stakeholders and led the design and execution of a variety of projects.

Amber’s career began as a Teach for America Corps member in Chicago. During her time in and after TFA, she served as an early childhood educator for Chicago Public Schools.

Amber received her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Communications & Culture from Howard University. She earned her Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) from Dominican University where she also received her English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement.


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Lindsay Gordon

Consultant, Executive Search

As an Executive Search Consultant for the Northeast team, Lindsay works closely with Koya’s Founding Partner on logistics, support, and strategy for executive searches and business development.

Prior to joining Koya, Lindsay worked in the development offices for two Boston based academic medical institutions, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In her various roles, she helped to manage board members and worked closely with donors, physicians and faculty to further the hospitals philanthropic goals.

Lindsay received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the College of Charleston.


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Meghan Franklin

Consultant, Executive Search

As a Florida native, Meghan supports Koya’s diverse and esteemed clients remotely from the greater Orlando area. She identifies and recruits talented leaders throughout the nonprofit sector, and is passionate about connecting the right person to the right place.

Her career began in higher education, first as an Admission Recruiter at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida and then as a Development Officer at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.

Meghan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with emphasis in creative writing and journalism from Stetson University.


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Tranee Peevy

Consultant, Executive Search

Tranee brings to Koya her passion for the nonprofit sector and her advocacy for underserved communities.  As a Search Consultant for the West Coast team, her primary areas of focus are search operations and support, specifically candidate evaluation and development.

Previously, Tranee worked in the legal industry for a top three intellectual property and corporate law firm, where she supported several litigation trial teams as an e-discovery expert and operations paralegal. Her dedication to her own community led her to create a nonprofit committed to connecting underserved high school students in South Los Angeles to opportunities for empowerment and higher education. As a Senior Search Associate, Tranee looks forward to supporting and building a strong network of relationships across the nonprofit and education sectors.

Tranee holds a bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric, emphasis on Public Discourse, from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a Riordan MBA Fellow at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.


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Lauren Saalmuller

Consultant, Executive Search

Lauren works closely with the Koya team on all aspects of the search process, including candidate identification and recruiting.

Before joining Koya, Lauren supported the team at Neumann Executive Search Partners in areas of communications, client and candidate service, and daily search operations. Previously, Lauren was a writer and editor of SAIL magazine, where she oversaw the production of the magazine’s publications and created media content.

When she’s not hard at work in the office, Lauren is an avid fitness junkie, sailor, and a pop culture enthusiast.

Lauren earned her B.A. in English, as well as a double minor in women’s studies and music, from the University of Connecticut.


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Alicia Salerno

Consultant, Executive Search

Alicia identifies, recruits, and engages with talented leaders for Koya’s clients. She supports the portfolio of Koya’s executive-level searches, partnering with the Vice President of Executive Search and widely-skilled candidates for diverse organizations.

Prior to joining Koya, Alicia worked for Youth Villages as a Human Capital Manager and Recruiting Supervisor where she managed staffing for seven programs in the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Mississippi markets for 450 employees. Before that, Alicia spent seven years in higher education, focused on student recruitment, leadership, and training at Brown University, Providence College, University of Massachusetts (Dartmouth), and Salve Regina University.

A certified Professional of Human Resources (PHR), Alicia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Salve Regina University, a Master of Arts in Counseling from Rhode Island College, and a Master of Arts in History from Providence College.


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Gillian Stewart

Consultant, Executive Search

Gillian brings significant project management and client service experience to Koya. As Consultant, she focuses on supporting all aspects of the search process for senior-level search engagements with nonprofit organizations and higher ed institutions.

Prior to Koya, Gillian supported search operations and client service at Neumann Executive Search Partners, where she specialized in data administration and tech support.

Away from work, Gillian enjoys hiking, reading about evolutionary ecology, and fixing the bicycle that she rides to and from work most days. She also loves cooking and baking and has extensive experience baking for restaurants and stores.

Gillian earned an A.B. in Biology from Mount Holyoke College.


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Will DeSmit

Consultant, Search and Operations

Based in the Los Angeles office, Will provides support to the Managing Director on the West Coast. His primary areas of focus include internal operations, search and proposal support.

Will joins Koya from Warner Brothers, where he supported Marketing & Promotions for all unscripted and daytime programming, including on-air campaigns, promotional photography and strategy.

Prior to his time in the entertainment industry, Will worked in education reform, including with the Broad Center, KIPP Los Angeles and Citizens of the World Charter Schools. He was also a part of the start-up team for Year Up NYC, part of a national nonprofit focusing on the opportunity gap through workforce development training, higher education and corporate apprenticeships.

Will holds a bachelor’s degree in Education, Social Work and Civil Rights from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University.


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Laura Creagan

Manager, Information Technology

Laura serves as the Information Technology Manager at Koya. In this capacity, she will lead critical IT initiatives across Koya, be responsible for identifying and implementing essential software systems, oversee staff training on organizational technology, manage all computer hardware and conduct data analytics for a wide range of business-critical projects related to technology. She will collaborate with senior leadership and outside partners to research and implement emerging technologies that improve efficiency and enhance productivity.

Previous to joining Koya, Laura served as the IT Business Systems/Membership Manager for both U.S. Biathlon Association and New England Nordic Ski Association. In this role she managed and monitored all IT Systems, and solved business problems with automated solutions. She provided technical expertise in collaboration with leadership on all IT systems and business processes. She successfully implemented two new CRM Systems, API Integrations, and a new website to replace aging systems. She captured, analyzed, implemented, tested and documented business requirements, processes and workflows. She served as the technical support for all system users, managed all workflows and processes. Laura continues to serve on the NENSA Board IT Committee.

Earlier, Laura was the founder of a small IT Consulting Corporation called db-ology, Inc where she focused on developing custom IT solutions for small non-profit organizations. She developed a database application to track migrating lobsters in the Gulf of Maine and redesigned the John Cabot University website in Rome, Italy.

Laura has certifications in Agile Planning for Software Development and Business Metrics for Data-Driven Companies. Laura is also very active within her community and since 2011 has served as the Co-founder /President of the non-profit Agamenticus Ski Club in York, Maine which provides educational programs to promote health, fitness and fun through xc skiing, for all ages/ability levels in the greater York Region.

Laura received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Science from the University of Virginia and her Associates Degree in Science from the State University of New York.


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Alina Michelewicz

Manager, Finance

As an important member of the Operations Team, Alina has a broad job description. Alina has experience working in small non-profits where she has served as a community organizer, fundraiser, and financial assistant.

Prior to joining the team at Koya, Alina served on the board of Haiti School Project, where she organized a teacher training workshop for over 50 teachers in rural Haiti. She is dedicated to making the world a better place and believes that nonprofits are some of the primary changemakers in this world.

Alina has a Master’s degree in Community Development and Planning and a Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Social Change from Clark University.


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Molly Scully

Manager, Research

Molly works closely with search leads to identify potential candidates for all Koya searches using both the firm’s proprietary database as well as external sources.

Supporting Koya’s knowledge management efforts, Molly develops a robust pipeline of candidates and external resources for future opportunities. She also supports business development efforts by conducting research on potential clients and providing reports to search leads. Molly leads Koya’s internship program and manages relationships and pipeline development with local colleges.

Prior to Koya, Molly volunteered at a local Head Start program where she assisted in the evaluation of young children’s cognitive development. She has also dedicated many hours to volunteering at the Newburyport Education Foundation and Newburyport’s Recycling Program.

Molly attended West Virginia University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.


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Danielle Kaidanow

Associate, Finance

As a Finance Associate, Danielle works closely with Koya’s Finance, Operations, and Human Resources teams. This position provides critical support to our client-facing professionals and helps to implement operational systems and processes that scale effectively and seamlessly.

Danielle began her career working with international nonprofits including Seeds of Peace and the Clinton Foundation. Prior to Koya, Danielle was a Program Coordinator for Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership where she led an international student program. Passionate about environmental justice, she ran an education program at MIT Media Lab’s Open Agriculture Initiative focused on agriculture technology and food sovereignty.

Danielle is committed to nutrition and community building, and volunteers with the urban farming organization Groundwork Lawrence. She also uses her organizing skills to coordinate DONATIO, a capacity builder for NGOs that provides resources to communities facing unmet needs.

Danielle holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Vermont.


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Monale Alemika

Associate, Marketing and Communications

Monale is focused on communications and marketing initiatives, including proposals and presentations, newsletter, and blog posts, measuring effectiveness of communications initiatives and managing Koya’s online presence. She joins Koya after several years in the higher education and executive search industry, first as a Communications Lecturer at Duquesne University and most recently as a Search Coordinator with an executive search firm that worked exclusively with top universities in the country.

Previously, Monale worked with nonprofits and government agencies in Nigeria and the US, in communications and program related roles. She loves the nonprofit and career development space and co-manages a professional networking group for Africans in the Philadelphia area.

Monale holds a Master’s degree in Communications Studies from Duquesne University and Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Babcock University, Nigeria.


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Tara Sullivan

Associate, Operations

As an Operations Associate, Tara provides administrative support to Koya’s Founder & CEO, as well as the Founding Partner on calendar management, expenses, travel and special projects. Tara is also responsible for office management, search and new business support for the Northeast team.

Prior to joining Koya, Tara was the North East regional sales manager for Silvon Software, a business intelligence software company, covering the eastern seaboard. In this role, Tara was responsible for selling business solutions to large supply chain companies, sales and marketing to her designated region as well as managing business partner/3rd party relationships. Before Silvon, Tara sold software and hardware solutions for Data Mirror, Inc., Vision Software, and EMC Corp.

Tara is actively involved in her community, including serving as President of the Parent Teacher Organization, she was appointed by the mayor to be on an Education Advisory Group, and work on a Residential Advisory Committee for the City of Newburyport.

Tara holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Journalism from New England College.


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Sayda Zelaya

Associate, Research

As a Research Associate, Sayda is responsible for developing and implementing research-based strategies to source candidates for Koya’s executive searches.

Prior to joining Koya, Sayda was a Media Training Coordinator at the Women’s Media Center in Washington D.C. where she organized national training programs for women around the country. As an advocate for social justice, she has worked extensively and proactively in several nonprofits focusing specifically on community outreach, development implementation and recruitment.

Sayda is an alumna of the AmeriCorps program, having served at Higher Achievement, a rigorous after-school program for middle school youth in at-risk communities in D.C.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Moravian College.


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Allison Dunne

Associate, Search and Operations

Allison is responsible for internal operations and search support in the Chicago office. She began her career working in the University Advancement office at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, supporting the regional development team.

Having worked with a number of different teams at MU, Allison understands the importance of finding the right people to match the right organizations.

Allison earned her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.


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Tameka Horner

Associate, Search and Operations

As an Associate, Tameka provides operational support to Directors to ensure searches run smoothly and efficiently and all search-related information, metrics, and documents are collected and filed, and scheduling with clients and candidates takes place efficiently and appropriately.

Tameka joins Koya from Red Oak Sourcing, a joint venture between CVS Health and Cardinal Health. Prior, she worked at the Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit advisor and resource for mission-driven organizations and philanthropists. There, she worked in various roles, including providing primary support to a national executive search team.

Tameka attended the University of Massachusetts Boston where she studied Cultural Anthropology and African-American Historical Studies.


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