July 21, 2021 – DHR International has named James Abruzzo, the long-time global head of the search firm’s non-profit recruiting practice, to lead an initiative to support non-profit organizations with their succession planning needs. The need for succession planning in non-profit organizations is underscored by Mr. Abruzzo’s research of the activities of non-profit board members and CEOs. In 2020, he and DHR conducted a survey which confirmed that while four out of five non-profit board members and CEOs agree that a succession plan is “important” or “very important,” less than one in five organizations surveyed had a succession plan in place.
Research also suggested that non-profit CEOs enjoy significantly longer tenures than CEOs in the corporate sector, that leadership within the non-profit sector is aging, and the pipeline for new leaders may not meet the demand. Furthermore, some within the sector may be particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. “These factors point to the need for both emergency and long-term planning in the non-profit sector,” said Mr. Abruzzo.
“While leadership consulting’s main clients have been corporations, private equity firms and multinationals, there is a great need among the non-profit sector for succession planning, coaching, and organizational development,” said Christine Greybe, president of DHR Leadership Consulting. “The pandemic has hit the non-profit sector particularly hard and we are positioning our firm to assist in any way we can.”
Mr. Abruzzo joined DHR in 2002 to launch the firm’s non-profit practice and has consulting with hundreds of clients during his 19-year tenure, including national health services organizations; universities; environment groups; arts, cultural and international relief organizations; foundations; and trade associations. Prior to DHR, Mr. Abruzzo was head of search and consulting for non-profit organizations at Kearney. Concurrently, he has also served on the faculty of top graduate schools, including the Free University of Berlin, the University of Bologna, Bocconi SDA in Milan, and Columbia University. Mr. Abruzzo is the founder and retired director of the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers Business School and publishes extensively on the subject of non-profit leadership.
DHR’s non-profit practice provides senior level retained executive search and leadership consulting services to a distinguished group of non-profit organizations. Its mission, “to improve the effectiveness of non-profit organizations world-wide,” represents the consultative approach and commitment to establish mutually beneficial and long-term relationships with each of DHR’s clients.