Laird Desmond


Laird Desmond brings more than 25 years of experience assisting executive leadership searches in higher education. Since joining AGB Search in 2011, Ms. Desmond has assisted nearly 60 searches for a wide variety of positions, including president, provost, vice president for finance, dean of business, dean of education, chief information officer, vice president for university advancement, and director level positions within a university foundation. She has worked with independent liberal arts colleges, religious-affiliated colleges and universities, HBCU’s, community colleges, comprehensive public institutions and system offices. These searches include:

  • Broward College (FL) – President
  • California State University, Fresno – President
  • College of St. Scholastica (MN) – President
  • Drake University (IA) – President
  • Edmonds Community College (WA) – President
  • Saint Joseph’s College, New York – President and Provost
  • Saint Louis University (MO) – President
  • University of Puget Sound (WA) – President
  • University of San Diego (CA) – President
  • Walla Walla Community College (WA) – President

Before joining AGB Search, Ms. Desmond worked as an associate with the higher education practices of Heidrick & Struggles and Korn/Ferry International, and as a research associate with Academic Search, Inc. Prior to beginning her career in search, she was an analyst with the management consulting practice in the Washington, D.C. office of Arthur Young (now Ernst & Young).

Ms. Desmond resides in the Pacific Northwest, where she enjoys hiking and gardening. She is passionate about the environment and has been active regarding sustainability issues in her community. She obtained a grant to fund, and oversaw the installation of, a rain garden at a local middle school, and served as a member of her town’s Sustainability Advisory Committee.

Ms. Desmond earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the College of William and Mary, Virginia.