Denielle Pemberton-Heard

Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer

Denielle Pemberton-Heard is the Chief Legal Officer for Diversified Search Group, based in the firm’s Washington, DC office. As CLO and a shareholding Managing Director with Diversified Search Group, Denielle Pemberton-Heard partners with corporations, boards of directors, and not for profit leaders to identify executive level talent for corporate boards and c-suite roles across multiple sectors. She recently served as CEO of STEMconnector, the largest professional services firm committed to increasing the number of STEM-ready workers in the global talent pool and under her leadership STEMconnecter merged with POD, an innovative technology platform that powers STEMconnector and its Million Women Mentors (MWM) initiative. She now serves as a Board Advisor to POD and is a member of the Board of Directors of Skout, a P/E backed cybersecurity firm.

Pemberton-Heard previously spent fifteen years as Group Counsel, Programming and Business Affairs at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the nation’s largest non-commercial media enterprise where she directed work on behalf of PBS and its 300 plus member stations, and led negotiations between and among PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Department of Education, The Kennedy Center, National Endowment for the Arts, National Science Foundation and others while collaborating with on-air talent, arts and cultural institutions and funders. Before joining PBS, she served as Group Counsel for Thales, Inc. and as Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs at Time Life (TWX), and as a Legal and Business affairs leader at Discovery Communications, Inc. (DISCA) where she supported the production teams as well as corporate philanthropy and community affairs.

Pemberton-Heard began her law career in private practice as a commercial real estate attorney with Wiggin and Dana and was subsequently associated with the New York firm of Cowan Liebowitz and Latman, where she focused on intellectual property litigation and portfolio management. She has published scholarly works in the area of Copyright and Trademark Law and has experience in compliance and Board Governance matters. Pemberton-Heard has a B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University, a Law Degree for Case Western Reserve University, and is an alumna of Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

A past Regional Judge for President Obama’s Presidential Commission on White House Fellowships, Pemberton-Heard is committed to emerging leaders, talent pipeline development, community service and corporate social responsibility initiatives. She was a Founder of Level 8- a committed group of women focused on leveling the playing field and providing equal access for Washington, DC youth. She has also served as a Trustee of the Toy Industry of America Foundation; on the Advisory Committee of DCVLP (DC Volunteer Lawyers Program to end domestic violence) and on the Board of Governors of the Case Western School of Law. Pemberton-Heard has lectured on business law as a member of the professional faculty of the Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business and has served on panels as a career coach to students at American University.

Pemberton-Heard, who was recently featured as a guest on the Michelle Obama Podcast on Spotify, serves on the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) Diversity Leadership Group and on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Business Collaborative (WBC). With a commitment to service, she is a member of The Links, Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta, a public service sorority. She is the proud mother of two college aged students and enjoys travel, classic films and dancing.