Diversified Search Group Recruits Chief Diversity Officer for SUNY

March 27, 2023 – Diversified Search Group (DSG), a leading search firm backed by private equity firm ShoreView Industries, has assisted in the recruitment of Ricardo Nazario-Colón as senior vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer of the State University of New York (SUNY). Euris Belle, managing director, and Nancy Helfman, senior associate, led the assignment. “Diversity, equity, and inclusion are fundamental to the long-term success of SUNY, higher education, and our nation,” said John B. King, chancellor. “Dr. Ricardo Nazario-Colón is an exceptionally talented individual who will fill this important role as we strive toward our goal of inclusivity. With Ricardo’s assistance, we will ensure that justice and equity run through all decisions we make at SUNY.”

The SUNY board of trustees said: “Dr. Ricardo Nazario-Colon takes on a crucial responsibility in accepting this role. SUNY, founded nearly 75 years ago with opportunity for all at the core of its mission, has made great strides in diversity, equity, and inclusion, but more is needed until every person in New York knows SUNY has a place for them to grow and succeed. Dr. Nazario-Colon, with his extraordinary track record of accomplishment, has every tool and talent needed in this important journey.”

Dr. Nazario-Colón is an accomplished administrator with more than 30 years of experience in various industries, including higher education, business, the U.S. military, and state government. He is the inaugural chief diversity officer and inclusive executive at Western Carolina University, a role he has held since 2016. Dr. Nazario-Colón has served on many different boards and committees. He currently serves as national president of the Appalachian Studies Association, is an elected board member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, a member of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Leadership Institute, and serves on the University Press of Kentucky Appalachian Futures: Black, Native, and Queer Voice advisory board.

Reporting directly to the chancellor and serving on the chancellor’s leadership team, Dr. Nazario-Colón will oversee the operation and management of the office of diversity, equity, and inclusion. He will be responsible for all aspects of promoting and advancing the system’s diversity goals, creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment, and assuring all campuses have resources, training, and support responsive to their unique requirements and consistent with overall SUNY practices and goals.

“What drew me to the position was the opportunity to join chancellor King’s team to ensure SUNY is the best system of public higher education, by eliminating existing barriers to college and support students’ progress toward their degree,” Dr. Nazario-Colón said. “My thanks to chairman Tisch, the SUNY board of trustees, and chancellor King for the opportunity to serve, and I look forward to the work ahead of us.”

Related: Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Tapped by the Washington Research Library Consortium to Find New Leader  

SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures systemwide were more than $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021. There are more than 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum.

Proven Recruiters

Diversified Search Group is a family of recruiting firms serving specialized sectors. The firm was founded almost five decades ago by Judith M. von Seldeneck for the express purpose of placing diverse candidates in client organizations. It is today the largest U.S. female-owned and founded firm in the executive recruitment industry. It is comprised of a combination of specialty practices with deep industry expertise under industry recognized brands, including Alta Associates, BioQuest, Koya Partners, Grant Cooper, and Storbeck Search.

Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Recruits Chief People Officer for Brooklyn Academy of Music
Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners recently assisted in the recruitment of Missy Flower as the new chief people officer for the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Chartise Clark and Naree W.S. Viner led the assignment for the recruitment firm. Ms. Flower has spent the past six years as chief administrative officer of HELP USA, a human services organization that provides support for people experiencing homelessness. As CAO, she had strategic oversight for HR, IT, legal, and quality assurance.

Ms. Belle partners with corporate clients in the areas of diversity recruitment, on-boarding, and retention of senior management and emerging leaders. Her search experience spans multiple functional disciplines and she has successfully assisted her clients in developing diverse candidate pools for various positions including finance, human resources, legal, information technology, and DEI practitioners.

Additionally, she has conducted senior-level searches for public and private colleges and universities (both majority institutions and HBCUs), foundations, and a wide range of not-for-profit organizations. Among her placements are presidents, provosts, chief academic officers, chief information officers, and deans of colleges and universities, as well as CEOs, presidents, and executive directors of non-profit organizations.

Ms. Helfman is a vice president and senior search associate in Diversified Search Group’s education, non-profit, and arts and culture practice. A seasoned executive search consultant, she works primarily on senior-level searches in higher education for academic leaders with a focus on presidents, provosts, and deans, as well as administrative leaders including CFOs, CHROs, and VPs for student affairs. Ms. Helfman also works on leadership searches for independent schools and a variety of non-profit organizations.

Her representative clients include Florida International University, George Washington University, Villanova University, Columbia University, Northeastern University, Hampshire College, University of Nebraska, University of Oregon, Germantown Friends School, and a variety of faith-based institutions. She has expertise in developing and executing search strategies, sourcing, screening, referencing, and facilitating the search process.

Related: Seattle University Picks Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners to Recruit CHRO

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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