DRiWaterstone Human Capital Tapped by the San Diego Workforce Partnership to Lead CEO Search

July 11, 2024 – Arlington, VA-based DRiWaterstone Human Capital has been selected by the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) to lead in its search for a new CEO. Senior consultant BJ Davis is leading the assignment. Following a competitive RFP process this spring, SDWP’s joint personnel committee selected DRiWaterstone Human Capital to lead the search due to the firm’s record of placing long-term CEOs, local presence in Southern California, and ability to develop a diverse pipeline of executive candidates.

“This is an exciting time for SDWP as we’re preparing to launch a strategic planning process and seeking to hire a permanent CEO to lead this effort, engage our stakeholders, and help chart the organization’s course for the future,” said Kurling Robinson, workforce development board chairman. “With their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, combined with a solid track record of successful executive placements, DRiWaterstone will be instrumental in selecting the best person for this role with the vision, experience, and passion to guide the Workforce Partnership into a new era of innovation and growth.”

The successful candidate will have a rich array of experience in the technical aspects of federal regulations and policy, as well as expertise in workforce and community development. Other requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree or direct equivalent experience preferred.
  • Ten plus years of experience in policy and program development, personnel management, organization analysis, and budget and finance management.
  • Demonstrated speaking and presentation abilities and exceptional professional and interpersonal communication skills with a sense of urgency and situational awareness.
  • Strong staff leadership abilities with high sensitivity, empathy, and emotional intelligence.
  • Exceptional organizational skills, high attention to detail to ensure accuracy, excellent problem-solving and time management skills.
  • Champions diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and will embrace and celebrate diverse thoughts and community partners.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership is a public benefit corporation that provides regional job training. It is overseen by a public-sector policy board comprised of elected officials who make funding decisions and a majority private-sector workforce development board, which determines the region’s training needs. Personnel decisions are made by the joint personnel committee, which comprises three of the policy board and three of the workforce development board members. The six-person joint personnel committee conducted a national call for search firms and led a thorough review of all proposals received. Of the eleven proposals, they chose two executive search firms to advance to a rigorous interview stage with the committee. DRiWaterstone Human Capital was selected based on its extensive experience placing diverse and tenured candidates in leadership roles.

San Diego Workforce Partnership is a quasi-public, non-profit organization that funds programs, implements initiatives, and brings together key players from county and city governments, and economic, educational, and workforce sectors across the San Diego region. They are part of a national network of nearly 500 workforce development boards, established under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). In California, they operate under the guidance of the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) and serve as the designated workforce board for San Diego county and city.

Related: DRiWaterstone Human Capital Recruits New Leader for Michigan Radio

Created through a recent merger between DRi and Waterstone Human Capital, DRiWaterstone Human Capital is a culture-centric executive search, leadership advisory, and human capital firm focused on helping mission and purpose-driven organizations across the U.S. build high performance teams and cultures. The firm’s team of talent management professionals has placed over 1,000 exceptional executives since it opened in 2001.

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The firm offers executive search services focused on helping clients achieve sustainable organizational and cultural growth by finding leaders who align to the organization’s purpose, and who can help take the organization and its culture to the next level. DRiWaterstone Human Capital also offers a full portfolio of cultural talent management and leadership advisory services (including culture assessment, culture measurement, and culture curation) – to help organizations put culture at the center of strategy and drive success.


DRiWaterstone Human Capital has appointed Doug Trout as its new CEO succeeding Jennifer Dunlap, who has served as president and CEO since the organization opened its doors in 2001. Ms. Dunlap will continue to serve as an advisor to the CEO and to work with a limited number of clients until her retirement from the organization in January 2025. She will serve on the board of directors as founder and vice chair. “DRiWaterstone is in excellent hands with Doug Trout,” said Ms. Dunlap. “His extensive experience in, and passion for, the nonprofit industry coupled with the relationships he has built throughout his four years as a senior consultant and most recently a managing director, make Doug the right person to drive the company’s growth and success moving forward. I’m confident that DRiWaterstone, its clients, and its team will thrive under Doug’s leadership.”

Mr. Trout joined DRiWaterstone in 2020 and has led the non-profit search practice since 2022. His practice areas for the firm have focused on the clean energy sector, public policy centers, research and cultural institutes, and higher education.

Related: DRiWaterstone Human Capital Recruits Inaugural Executive Director for the West Virginia First Foundation

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief and Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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