BoardWalk Consulting Assists the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in Finding New Leader

March 31, 2022 – Executive recruitment firm BoardWalk Consulting has assisted in the recruitment of civil rights attorney and activist, and NBC News and MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley as president and chief executive officer of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and its sister organization, the Leadership Conference Education Fund. She will succeed Wade Henderson, who has served as interim president and CEO since January 2021. Senior director Crystal Stephens, director of research Patti Kish and senior research associate Lysondra Somerville led the assignment.

“We cannot be more thrilled to welcome Maya Wiley to her new role,” said Judith Lichtman, chair of The Leadership Conference board. “She will bring passion, experience, and the leadership skills needed to tackle the challenges for the future. She brings a deep understanding and historical perspective of where we have been and a recognition for the painful times we live in. As we looked for a new president, we wanted someone who understood the excruciating problems of the moment that cry out for leadership for the future – and we have found that in Maya.”

James Rucker, chair of The Leadership Conference Education Fund board, described Ms. Wiley as “precisely the kind of leader we need, both for this moment, and as we confront the challenges and opportunities of the future.”

He added: “From her upbringing as the daughter of a civil rights leader, to the roles she has played a civil rights lawyer, to leading efforts and organizations focused on democracy and dignity for all, to serving as an educator and communicator—Maya has an acute understanding of where we are, how we’ve gotten here, and where we need to go, in service of the ideals of the Leadership Conference and the Education Fund. And she has the demonstrated leadership to help us collectively get there.”

Ms. Wiley is currently an NBC News and MSNBC legal analyst. She is a nationally respected civil rights attorney and activist. The daughter of a leader in the civil rights and economic justice movements, Ms. Wiley has held key positions both inside and outside of government. Early in her career, she focused on multiple racial justice issues as a staff member of the ACLU and then the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Inc. She has also worked in the Civil Division of the U.S Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Ms. Wiley co-founded the non-profit Center for Social Inclusion, a policy organization dedicated to ending racial inequity through structural reform. She was also a senior advisor on race and poverty at the Open Society Foundations. The first black woman counsel to the mayor of New York City, Ms. Wiley advised the mayor on civil and immigrant rights, among other policy issues. Following her time at City Hall, she moved to academia as a faculty member and senior vice president for social justice at the New School University and Henry Cohen professor of public and urban policy at the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment.

Related: BoardWalk Consulting Selected to Find Chief Development Officer for Cleveland Institute of Music

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the U.S. Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society – an America as good as its ideals. The Leadership Conference is a 501(c)(4) organization that engages in legislative advocacy. It was founded in 1950 and has coordinated national lobbying efforts on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957.

Non-Profit Focused Recruiters

BoardWalk Consulting, based in Atlanta, is a national executive search firm that recruits CEOs and senior leadership for mission-driven non-profit organizations. Founded in 2002, the firm leads executive searches for clients from across the non-profit sector with global, national, regional, and local missions. Many of the firm’s team members have previously served as non-profit executives, grant makers, and board leaders. BoardWalk Consulting is also an active partner in Panorama, the global network of independent executive search firms.

Ms. Stephens joined BoardWalk in 2012 after extensive experience working with top-tier organizations in sales, marketing and recruiting. She spent most of her corporate career with IBM in senior sales and marketing positions. As executive vice president at, she managed a global sales team. Ms. Stephens has led mission-critical searches for clients such as Year Up, Communities in Schools and the Anti-Defamation League.

Ms. Kish works closely with search consultants to develop and implement research strategies and proactively recruit senior level executives into non-profit leadership roles. Prior to joining BoardWalk Consulting in 2015, she led full life cycle talent acquisition for a national search firm that specialized in C-suite executive search for consumer products organizations. She began her career with EDS (now HP) where she spent several years managing the entire talent acquisition organization for the southeast region. A career recruiter, Ms. Kish has placed CEOs, presidents, executive directors, and CFOs for organizations with national and global impact.

Ms. Somerville has worked as a corporate consultant, product manager, and marketing expert. She brings a decade’s worth of experience in various business, marketing, and management roles. Ms. Somerville is an accomplished corporate strategist with a deep understanding of organizational management and operational effectiveness.

Related: BoardWalk Consulting Seeks President and CEO for Public Broadcasting Atlanta

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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