Lambda Legal Taps Two Search Firms to Find New CEO

June 20, 2019 – New York-based Lambda Legal has retained the services of LGBTQ search firm McCormack+Kristel and WB&B, an executive search firm focused on diversity and inclusion, to lead its search for a new CEO.

Lambda Legal, a non-profit, is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

“Lambda Legal’s board of directors knows how critical the CEO search is to our community, especially in times like these, so that the organization remains vigilant and a leader in the movement,” said board chair Anne Krook. “One of the most essential elements of this search is a diverse pool of candidates. We will conduct a thorough and thoughtful process to find the ideal candidate for the position.”

McCormack+Kristel and WB&B are dedicated to developing an inclusive list of candidates with the skills to drive the next chapter of Lambda Legal’s work, said Michelle Kristel, managing partner of McCormack+Kristel. “We are honored to be working with a pillar of the LGBTQ movement during such a critical time in Lambda’s and our country’s history,” she said.

Lambda Legal is looking for someone ready to ensure that the non-profit’s vision of full recognition of the civil rights of the LGBT community and all who experience discrimination is realized, said Richard Burns, interim CEO. “Lambda Legal is in court on behalf of transgender people in the military, winning on behalf of transgender high school students and taking on Social Security on behalf of LGBT seniors,” he said. “We are looking for an experienced leader and strategic thinker to join us in this fight on behalf of our community’s most vulnerable.”

The Position

Reporting to the board of directors, the CEO will be a key leader in defining the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement in the 21st century. In collaboration with the board and staff, the CEO will define Lambda Legal’s vision and set its strategic direction. The CEO will operationalize the day-to-day leadership, management, and planning necessary to ensure Lambda Legal’s continued growth and impact.

The ideal candidate will be a visionary and respected social-justice thought leader, said the recruiters. “They will have an authentic commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and evident cultural competency,” the firms said. “They will also be a transparent and collaborative leader, compelling public speaker and engaging communicator.”


The Current State of Diversity and Inclusion
The evidence is clear that diversity and inclusion is good for business on many levels. A new report by GQR Global seeks to understand attitudes around diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Rosanna Durruthy, LinkedIn’s head of global diversity, inclusion and belonging, also weighs in on this exclusive report.


For more than 45 years, Lambda Legal has been working for full-lived equality for LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV. “At a critical time in history, this is an extraordinary opportunity for a visionary leader to fortify Lambda Legal’s pillars of impact litigation, policy, and advocacy to defend and continue the expansion of rights for LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV,” the non-profit said.

The Search Firms

Since its founding in 1993, McCormack+Kristel has completed more than 400 searches for CEOs, board members and C-suite executives for large and small nonprofit organizations across the country. Clients have included the ACLU, the Equality Federation, GLAD, Liberty Hill Foundation, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, MassEquality, Outserve/SLDN, PFLAG, Planned Parenthood, SAGE, and the Tide Foundation.

Diversity recruiting has long been on the firm’s agenda. With the advent of effective treatments for HIV/AIDS, and the diminishing needs of many of these organizations, the firm broadened its client base into areas like social justice; healthcare; women’s issues; higher education; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender; civil rights and more.

WB&B has been recognized as the nation’s top minority-owned executive search firm. Established in 1973, its founding bylaws ensure an inclusive slate of qualified candidates for each client engagement. Since 2011, the firms have partnered on several high-profile CEO searches including AIDS United, AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Amnesty International.

As one of the country’s reigning experts on diversity, WB&B’s Kenneth Roldan is the first Hispanic CEO of a national executive search firm. He has partnered with leading companies inclusive of GE, BP, MillerCoors, IAC, State Street, Cleveland Clinic, Raytheon, Bloomberg, Whirlpool, Google, Corning, TVA, UL, Nucor, Dow, Chevron, Praxair, and Disney in creating formal strategies to court and recruit talented minority professionals into the company.

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

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