Bridge Partners Recruits First Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

March 22, 2021 – New York City-based Bridge Partners has assisted in the placement of Harold Brown as the first chief diversity and inclusion officer at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO). The search firm’s founders, Tory Clarke and Larry Griffin, led the assignment. “As we accelerate the work we began several years ago, it has been increasingly important to ensure we have the resources needed to fully support our DE&I internal and external goals, all in service to Cincinnati,” said Jonathan Martin president and CEO of CSO. “I am delighted that in our search we found Harold right in our own community. He will bring to the CSO tremendous experience in effecting meaningful results in organizations for which he has served.”

An Oxford, OH, native and graduate of Harvard University, Mr. Brown has dedicated his career to roles within organizations that advance opportunities for underserved populations. Most recently, he directed grant-making strategy as vice president, strategy, and policy at Interact for Health and previously as vice president of community strategies at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Prior to that, Mr. Brown served for more than 16 years in various leadership capacities at KnowledgeWorks, and began his career directing Multicultural Enrollment Services at Miami University. He serves on the boards of the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, Cradle 2 Career Cincinnati, Mt. St. Joseph University, GreenLight Cincinnati, School Board Schools and AchievePoint Career Academy.

“A big part of this work is helping this orchestra to become a better, more accessible and more relevant community partner, so that people of all ages and races will find some belonging in the symphony and its work, and so we can help create pipelines for musicians who may not have a clear path to this ultimate level of performance,” Mr. Brown said. “There are a lot of programs already underway that are doing great things.  We’re going to build on those, and hold ourselves accountable to making a huge difference, both internally and externally.”

With a rich tradition that dates back 126 years, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is considered one of America’s finest and most versatile ensembles. Committed to inclusion and relevance and to enhancing and expanding music education for the children of Greater Cincinnati, the Orchestra works to bring music education, in its many different forms, to as broad a public as possible. The groundbreaking CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship, in partnership with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, provides master’s degree-level education and professional development and performance opportunities for extraordinary young musicians from historically underrepresented populations in classical music.

Veteran Recruiters

In recent weeks, Bridge Partners has launched a search for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is looking for a deputy director for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as well as the San Francisco Symphony, which is looking for a chief people officer. Bridge Partners recruited San Francisco Symphony’s CFO in late 2019.

Bridge Partners Recruits Chief Diversity Officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bridge Partners placed Lavita McMath Turner as the first chief diversity officer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Lavita McMath Turner has an exceptional record of success promoting equity throughout her career in cultural and higher education institutions, and she will be a key partner in helping The Met evolve into a more inclusive place to work, visit and learn,” said Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of The Met. “I am greatly looking forward to working together—with the full support of our board and so many across the institution—to achieve these goals.”

Bridge Partners is a certified minority supplier and a minority business enterprise. Based in New York, with offices in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston, the firm has completed higher education/academia senior leadership searches for roles such as head of human resources, head of finance, head of audit and deans. Its non-profit clients include non-profit and for-profit clients include the Denver Housing Authority, Women In Need, TIAA-CREF, Freddie Mac, Accion, Colgate-Palmolive, YWCA, Starbucks and the Federal Reserve System.

Ms. Clarke supports senior global search assignments for private sector, public sector and international non-profit/social venture clients, across all functions. A 20-year veteran of the executive search industry, she has recruited diverse executives, including CEO/presidents and their leadership teams, at both head office and regional locations around the globe.

Mr. Griffin partners with clients on leadership assignments within the private, federal/public and non-profit sectors. He has been in executive search for nearly 30 years and has recruited diverse leaders across multiple functions, from CEO/ executive directors/ presidents to functional heads including chief financial officer, chief marketing officer, chief information officer, chief strategy officer and their teams.

Related: Driving Diversity and Inclusion from the Top

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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