Odgers Berndtson Continues Rapid U.S. Expansion

NEW YORK, October 3, 2016 — As part of its strategy to provide clients with deep sector expertise, Odgers Berndtson, a leading global executive search and leadership advisory firm, is adding a new Higher Education practice in the U.S. and strengthening its Life Sciences and Healthcare Practices. The firm has added four new executive search industry specialists – Allen Reed, Nick Brill, Jennifer McDonough and Ora Smith.

One of the most successful and fastest growing global executive search firms in the world, Odgers Berndtson U.S. has added more than 15 sector specialists to its roster in the last 2 years, with revenues doubling in size. The firm recently ranked No. 22 among Hunton Scanlon Media’s Top 50 executive search firms in the Americas. Globally, Odgers Berndtson now has more than 210 partners managing client engagements from offices in 51 cities across 29 countries.

“Clients entrust us to recruit top talent eager to tackle business challenges unique to their transforming industries,”said Steve Potter, Managing Partner at Odgers Berndtson in the US.  “Our newest search specialists are authorities in their industries who are ready to help clients in pursuit of executives with a proven track record of success.”

The new executives are bolstering Odgers’ comprehensive expertise in higher education, as well as in life sciences and healthcare — a broad sector comprised of providers, payers, the academic medical community, healthcare IT, healthcare delivery, medical devices and diagnostics, pharmaceutical services and contract services companies.

Odgers Berndtson Partner, Allen Reed, will serve clients in the healthcare and life sciences sectors.  Based in Washington, D.C. and New York, he specializes in senior functional and general management roles, including at the C-suite and Board level. Prior to joining Odgers Berndtson, Allen founded Reed & Associates, a retained executive search firm exclusively serving health care and life sciences clientele. Before that he led the Healthcare Practice for a top 20 Executive Search firm in the U.S., after eight years as Managing Director at Russell Reynolds Associates, in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice. Allen holds an MBA in Strategic Management and Healthcare Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; and a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, with distinction, University of Virginia.

Nick Brill joins Odgers Berndtson as a Partner and Head of the U.S. Higher Education and Academic Medicine Practice and a member of the firm’s Healthcare Practice.  Prior to joining Odgers Berndtson, he co-founded a boutique search firm and recruited senior academic and business leaders for top U.S. universities, academic medical centers and affiliated organizations. Earlier in his career, Nick was an officer of the Harvard Community Health Plan, a leading health maintenance organization and founder of health services company, Commonwealth Care, which was eventually sold to a publicly-traded company. A graduate of Colgate University, Nick also holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Jennifer McDonough joins the firm as a Principal in the Boston office and a member of the Higher Education/Academic Medicine and Healthcare Practices. She brings extensive experience recruiting for a wide variety of academic and operational leadership roles for clients that include research universities, liberal arts colleges, academic medical centers and biotech companies. Jennifer built the foundation for a successful practice during tenures with two other search firms. Prior to her search career, she conducted pharmacology and infectious disease research at Johns Hopkins University and Yale University. Jennifer holds a degree in the History of Science and Medicine from Yale University.

Ora Smith, a Principal in Odgers Berndtson’s Higher Education and Technology Practices, has recruited in the public-private partnership arena as well as in technology commercialization, academia and research assignments. Prior to joining Odgers Berndtson, Ora was a senior leader at a boutique search firm. He also has experience in senior corporate positions, start-up companies and university organizations. Over the years, he founded and co-founded several technology-based companies including ISCO International, as well as a company acquired by Superconductor Technologies, Inc. and another by Gordian Associates. Ora was the first chief executive of The Ohio State University’s affiliated research park and he is also a former Industrial Research Institute Fellow in the White House Science Office. Ora holds S.B. and S.M. degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

According to U.S. Vice Chairman and Director, John Hawkins, who heads the firm’s U.S. Life Sciences  and Board Practices, the opportunity to cross pollinate across practices allows for the transfer of knowledge which provides clients with the competitive advantage they need in today’s competitive talent environment.

“The biggest benefit for clients in regards to these new hires is the synergies across the partners in terms of their different areas of expertise within life sciences and healthcare,”said Hawkins. “For instance, Nick Brill is also a specialist in the academic medicine area, so there is overlap with life sciences and healthcare, and Jennifer has both the academic and non-governmental organization medicine expertise. Ora brings a deep technology background, while Allen offers very specialized experience in areas such as pharma services, and medical devices and diagnostics. These are all seasoned recruiters who really know their markets and who, together, can deliver the best talent solutions to our clients.”

Recent Odgers Berndtson appointments in life sciences and healthcare include the Chairman and CEO, the CFO and six new board directors at Valeant Pharmaceuticals. In the last year, Odgers Berndtson has also recruited over a dozen non-executive directors, four CEOs and three CFOs to other public life sciences companies in the U.S. Outside of the life sciences sector, other Odgers Berndtson searches include recruiting the CEO of Tetragon USA (a $17 billion dollar hedge fund), the CEO of Lloyds of London and the Governor of the Bank of England.

About Odgers Berndtson U.S.

Odgers Berndtson is a leading global executive search and leadership advisory firm, with more than 210 partners managing client engagement from offices in 51 cities across 29 countries. For more information, please see

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