Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Selected to Find New Leader for TransitCenter

June 16, 2023 – Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, was recently retained by TransitCenter in New York City to lead its search for a new executive director. Managing director Anne McCarthy, senior search associate Claire Hunt, and senior search coordinator Kaley Blaszinski are leading the assignment.

The executive director must be a strategic and visionary leader with a solid understanding of the strategies needed to advance the work of a mission-driven philanthropic organization. This individual will naturally inspire the staff, board, and partners to see how effective philanthropy can improve the sector and propel the organization forward, Koya notes. The executive director must bring a broad understanding of transportation, environmental justice, climate justice and social change, and the ability to set a vision for the future of the organization. Of equal importance is the ability to implement a plan for increased organizational impact while delegating across teams to encourage innovation and initiative across teams. Additionally, the ideal candidate possesses the quantitative and the qualitative skills needed to support the organization in most effectively leveraging the endowment and to identify investment opportunities that maximize philanthropic impact.

TransitCenter’s board of trustees and staff recognize that this moment of transition is the perfect time to carefully consider the next chapter of its work and impact, said the search firm. They will look to the next executive director to think and act creatively and strategically about changes impacting communities and the transportation sector generally, and how TransitCenter can continue to be a highly effective catalytic force in transit.

Koya says that the executive director is responsible for leadership and overall management of the organization with oversight of operations and grantmaking. This leader must work closely with the board of trustees as the organization continues to evolve to fulfill its mission. By carefully and creatively targeting its efforts and resources and developing and collaborating within its wide network, the executive director will be charged with identifying new ways to deploy TransitCenter resources and convene partners, philanthropies, and civic leaders to maximize the impact that its assets can advance on its own.

TransitCenter is a grantmaking foundation that works to secure a more just and sustainable future with abundant public transportation. Officially established as a non-profit in 2000, TransitCenter sold the commuter benefit business in 2012, resulting in the establishment of its endowment. The organization has operated as a grantmaking foundation ever since. Today, TransitCenter has a 10-person staff, $6 million operating budget, $60 million-plus endowment, an annual grantmaking budget of $1.6 million, and an 11-member board of trustees.

Diversified Search Group is a family of firms serving specialized sectors. The firm was founded almost five decades ago for the express purpose of placing diverse candidates in client organizations. Koya Partners is a part of the Diversified Search Group and is dedicated to mission-driven leadership. Koya works broadly at the senior-most levels of the mission-driven field in philanthropy, social services, arts and culture, and social justice, among others.

Combined Resources

In 2019, Koya was acquired by Diversified Search. With the combination of revenues and resources, Diversified Search and Koya now represent one of the largest non-profit and higher education practices in the executive search industry. Koya’s specialization in mission-driven search, primarily with non-profit and higher education clients, complements Diversified’s own major education, non-profit, and arts and culture practices, as well as the firm’s healthcare services, board of directors, life sciences, industrial, and digital, media, entertainment, and sports practices.

Related: Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Recruits CEO for Easterseals

Ms. McCarthy has experience partnering with a broad range of mission-driven clients active in the fields of philanthropy, arts and culture, conservation and environment, social services, membership organizations, and beyond. She has led searches for CEOs, presidents, directors, executive directors, and board members in addition to searches for a variety of functional roles, including CFOs, COOs, CMOs, and program officers.

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In philanthropy, Ms. McCarthy’s clients include the Obama Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, the Fidelity Foundations, the Field Foundation of Illinois, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, and the Chicago Foundation for Women. She also has deep experience in the field of arts and culture. Ms. McCarthy has partnered with the following clients, among others, on CEO and director searches: Academy of Arts and Sciences, Arts Midwest, Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Chicago Botanic Garden, Ganna Walska Lotusland, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Kohl Children’s Museum, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Naples Botanic Garden, The Newark Museum, New Bedford Whaling Museum, and the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She has also partnered with Chicago Public Media, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Newark Museum, and Window to the World Communications (WTTW/WFMT), among others, to recruit C-suite executives.

Ms. Hunt  collaborates with search teams to recruit senior executives to mission-driven clients. She supports the search process through project management, candidate development, and client engagement. Prior to joining Koya Partners, Ms. Hunt served as director, talent for Teach For America, where she managed performance development, hiring, and onboarding for the Chicago regional team.

Ms. Blaszinski assists senior leaders in identifying and recruiting top talent for mission-driven organizations throughout the country. She supports all stages of the search process, including search operations and logistics. Ms. Blaszinski joined Koya Partners with experience in the legal and professional services spaces within the recruiting industry. She has recruited high volume contract and contract to hire candidates for law firms, corporate legal offices, and financial institutions.

Related: Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Seeks CEO for Social Enterprise Greenhouse 

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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