Positions Filled:  14 Senior Directors and Directors of Research

The Debruce Foundation retained Insight Executive Search to identify nationally recognized research leaders in K-12 Education and Community Development & Economics for positions in a newly-established research and social innovation initiative called ThinkShift Collaborative.  ThinkShift Collaborative was created by the Debruce Foundation (a charitable foundation) with the goal of diagnosing barriers to success within communities and to offer meaningful interventions.

“It was apparent from our initial conversations and meetings that the Debruce Foundation cared deeply about their mission,” said Aaron Schmidt, President of Insight Executive Search.  “It was important to them that their research should not remain on the shelf, but should truly affect positive change and growth in communities throughout the nation.” 

“It’s not an easy task to find experienced researchers who are also capable and confident enough to take on a position in a newly-formed organization,” said Natalia Peart, PhD, COO and Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Debruce Foundation. “The team at Insight Executive Search impressed us with their knowledge of the sectors we focus in, but also made us feel as if they understood our mission and our goals for ThinkShift Collaborative. This was critical for us.” 

The team at Insight Executive Search identified and contacted research leaders from the nation’s most highly regarded social science research institutes and organizations.  The candidates shared a common denominator:  They were thought leaders in their respective fields and, at the same time, possessed a desire to see their research increase the quality of life of those less fortunate and in underserved populations.  

“It was important to develop a relationship with each of the prospective candidates we spoke with before moving to the next level,” said Jon Cohen, Principal at Insight Executive Search.  “We understood the Debruce research initiative was a unique opportunity, and it was necessary to have discerning conversations with each candidate. Surely, we contacted the nation’s most highly regarded researchers, but we were seeking specifically those who were passionate, committed individuals, as well.”

A nation-wide search was conducted and, throughout the course of the search, 76 resumes were received and reviewed.  As candidates were assessed and screened, those deemed appropriate were presented to the client.  Ultimately, 14 candidates were hired for positions ranging from Chief Education Officer to Senior Director to Director.  The candidates selected ranged from Deputy Assistant Secretary, Professor of Public Service and Economics, senior non-profit leaders and nationally recognized research scientists.

“Not only are we thrilled with the caliber of candidates we eventually hired,” said Dr. Peart, “but working with Aaron and the team at Insight Executive Search was a pleasure. Knowing how thoroughly they were reviewing candidates every step of the way allowed me to focus on other tasks involved in the organization of ThinkShift Collaborative. I would use them again and highly recommend them to others.”