Isaacson, Miller Seeking New Leader for the Forsyth Institute

June 30, 2017 – The Forsyth Institute, an independent not-for-profit research institute dedicated to improving oral health and overall wellness, has asked executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to find its next president and CEO. Vice president Dan Rodas is leading the search along with managing associate Phillip Petree and associate Michael O’Shea.

The incoming leader will join the organization at a transformational time and help shape its vision for decades. The individual is charged with identifying new research opportunities that will both have an impact and extend the reach of the institute. The person is also expected to help establish connections and collaborations with other research institutions, aggressively seek to broaden the base of financial support and foster a transparent, supportive and accountability-driven culture that encourages scientists to produce their best work.

A Look Inside the Role

Reporting to the board of directors, the president and CEO of the Forsyth Institute will provide leadership for all institutional activities and operations. In addition to oversight of Forsyth’s scientific, clinical, educational and community outreach programs, the new leader will provide guidance for financial planning, public relations and development activities, new business initiatives and corporate relationships, as well as strategic planning and implementation.

The ideal candidate will be a scientist who brings passion for the institute’s work as well as a vision for expanding its reach and impact. The person should also have a proven track record as entrepreneur and agent of change. Active leadership of institutional efforts to generate new revenue streams and their effective utilization to promote Forsyth’s mission will be an area of emphasis. It is essential that the new leader bring exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, a strong public presence and an ability to inspire others.


Building upon Forsyth’s legacy as a research institute dedicated to improving oral health and overall wellness, the CEO will, in collaboration with senior leadership, chart the course for the organization’s future. He or she will actively seek to identify and support new research that will distinguish the institute as a leader as well as contribute to the organization’s long-term sustainability.

Forsyth has long been known for its contributions to scientific research, but the next CEO, as its primary spokesperson, must continually work to secure funding to achieve short- and long-term goals. The incoming leader must also confront the financial challenges presented by significantly reduced extramural funding from traditional sources.

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Non-Profit Recruiters

A nationally-recognized search firm focused on recruiting transformational leaders for mission-driven organizations, Isaacson, Miller has made some 5,600 placements over 34 years. The firm has offices in Boston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. This year it was again recognized as one of the top 50 search firms in the Americas by Hunt Scanlon Media. Isaacson, Miller is currently seeking leaders for other non-profits such as the SHARE Foundation, the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, NWEA, the Trust for Public Land, and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, among others.

Mr. Rodas joined Isaacson, Miller after 25 years in higher education administration. During his academic career, he chaired, staffed or facilitated over 50 executive searches for senior leaders, including presidents, vice president, and deans in numerous professions and disciplines. He’s also been involved in searches for administrative leadership in finance, enrollment management and student affairs.

Mr. Petree began consulting with Isaacson, Miller in 2006 and has worked on executive searches across multiple sectors. His clients have included New England Village, Amida Care, Naropa University and Mount Ida College.

Mr. O’Shea joined Isaacson, Miller last year. Prior to joining the firm, he served as the educationUSA officer in Canada with U.S. Embassy Ottawa and Fulbright Canada.

Non-Profit Recruiting

The economic strength of the non-profit field has increased in recent years, making it the third largest employer in the U.S. Nearly two million not-for-profits employ 10.7 million people and produce $1.9 trillion in revenue. In the past decade, employment in the sector grew by 17 percent. With demand for non-profit talent at an all-time high, search firms are more than busy looking for candidates.

In recent months search firms of all shapes and sizes have been retained by non-profits of all kinds to find new leaders. Here’s a look at just a few from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has chosen ThinkingAhead Executive Search to lead its hunt for a president. Recruiters Chris Spagnola and Jessica Martinez are leading the assignment. The incumbent is expected to provide visionary leadership and foresight, in order to broaden the influence of the ATC.

Professional football’s Oakland Raiders is seeking an executive director of its charitable arm, the Raiders Foundation. To conduct the search, the team has enlisted Marquee Search, a recruitment firm that specializes in sports and entertainment President Jeff Yocom is spearheading the assignment. 

UCHAPS, the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services, has named Kevin T. Jones as its executive director. The appointment is the culmination of an exhaustive national search led by Kevin Chase Executive Search Group, members of UCHAPS’ board of directors and representatives from its community and government advisory committees.

Pittsburgh-based executive search firm Nonprofit Talent, LLC was retained by Pittsburgh Cares and Urban Innovation21 to lead their searches for new top leaders. Pittsburgh Cares is seeking an executive director who will be responsible for the leadership of the organization. Urban Innovation21 is looking for a president and CEO who is experienced in executive leadership.

Greensboro, NC-based executive search firm Jorgenson Consulting has been selected by the Wayne Economic Development Council to lead in its search for its next president. The organization has formed a search committee to identify, interview and recommend candidates to replace president Rodney Crider.

CarterBaldwin Executive Search has placed Larry Griffith as the CEO of Corporate Chaplains of America (CCA). The board’s selection comes after an extensive search that involved reaching out to more than 1,000 potential candidates. The assignment was conducted by CarterBaldwin founding partner Price Harding.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Chase Barbe, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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