Heidrick & Struggles Names Head of Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Practice

September 15, 2022 – Executive search, leadership consulting, and culture shaping services provider Heidrick & Struggles has named Jonathan McBride as global managing partner of the firm’s global diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) practice. “Under Jonathan’s leadership, our diversity, equity, and inclusion practice will work with more of our clients to support their efforts in bringing on board extraordinary talent from all backgrounds, and creating organizations with thriving cultures where their teams can do their best work,” said Krishnan Rajagopalan, president and CEO of Heidrick & Struggles. “For decades, our firm has been dedicated to making DEI part of the leadership conversation – starting at the top – catalyzing change and helping our clients find solutions for their unique needs. Jonathan’s deep expertise and broad-based experience will be valuable assets as our clients seek new ways to achieve their DEI objectives and measure their progress over time.”

Mr. McBride is a former head of the Presidential Personnel Office in the Obama White House, and he also served as global head of inclusion and diversity at BlackRock where he oversaw the operating committee and held other leadership roles. He joined Heidrick & Struggles in 2021 as a partner in the DEI practice and chief human resources officers practice, based in Los Angeles. In his new, expanded role leading the global DEI practice, Mr. McBride and his team will focus on advising boards, CEOs and leadership teams on various areas related to strengthening organizations’ focus on their DEI programs and enhancing workplace culture.

“I have already witnessed the incredible reach of Heidrick & Struggles,” said Mr. McBride. “I can’t imagine a better place to be if one really wants to help boards, CEOs, and other leaders meet the changing and complex demands of today and into the future.”

Lyndon Taylor, who today serves as regional managing partner of the Americas CEO and board of directors practice, led the launch of Heidrick & Struggles’ DEI practice in 2020, introducing to the marketplace a dedicated, global practice that brought together the firm’s consultants from both its executive search and consulting teams to support clients focused on creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership teams, cultures, and organizations. Mr. McBride will be expected to build on the firm’s strong foundation established over the past several decades and, more recently, under Mr. Taylor’s leadership to bringing diversity, equity, and inclusion to board rooms and C-suites globally.

In 2013, Mr. McBride was appointed to serve as director of the Presidential Personnel Office. He joined the Obama administration as a special assistant to the President and the deputy director of the Presidential Personnel Office in 2009, and he led several key programs, including co-chairing an initiative to reform management and work in government.

New Chief Diversity Officer

Heidrick & Struggles recently named Cecilia Nelson-Hurt as its new chief diversity officer. Ms. Nelson-Hurt joins the firm from L’Oréal USA, where she served as vice president, diversity, equity, and inclusion. She was responsible for shaping the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts that underscore its commitment to building an inclusive beauty brand and as an equal opportunity workplace. She also developed and facilitated its diversity and inclusion programs and worked with the company’s employee-led Think Tanks to create and implement strategies and initiatives that positively impacted employee engagement, consumer insights and community outreach. She takes the place of Kamau Coar, who shifted from a role as the organization’s chief legal officer to chief inclusion officer, overseeing its diversity and inclusion efforts, including talent development, employee resources, and culture.

Related: Heidrick & Struggles Names Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary

“At Heidrick & Struggles, we are committed to building diverse leadership teams and organizations and creating inclusive workplace cultures, both for our employees and our clients,” said Mr. Rajagopalan. “We are delighted to welcome Cecilia who brings her deep passion, experience and commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion to our firm. We look forward to further strengthening our focus and efforts on increasing representation and fostering an equitable and inclusive environment where all of our employees can thrive and achieve success.”

“It is an incredibly exciting time to join Heidrick & Struggles as the firm looks to accelerate its transformation and growth journey globally,” said Ms. Nelson-Hurt. “I am honored to have this opportunity to lead the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy and deliver long-term, sustainable programs and initiatives that build on its values and commitment to creating the most diverse and inclusive executive talent and leadership advisory firm in the industry.”

Related: Heidrick & Struggles Appoints Regional Leader for Americas

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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