Melinda Leonardo


Melinda Leonardo has over 15 years of experience in executive search for higher education assisting colleges and universities in presidential and vice-presidential searches. Over the last few years, Dr. Leonardo has completed executive searches for:

  • Wake Technical Community College (NC) – President
  • Limestone College (SC) – President
  • Wofford College (SC) – Provost
  • Guilford College (NC) – Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Misericordia University (PA) – Vice President for Academic Affairs

As well, Dr. Leonardo has built extensive networks with candidates in her continued work with the AGB Interim Search division. In addition to her executive search work, Dr. Leonardo serves as the Coordinator of Programming for the AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance in Higher Education. The AGB Institute is a collaborative venture of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), AGB Search, the Rockefeller Institute of Government (SUNY), and the University at Albany (SUNY) School of Education designed to provide exceptional higher education leaders with a pathway to the presidency of four-year public research and comprehensive universities.

For nearly a decade, Dr. Leonardo served as the Director of Consulting Services with Academic Search, Inc. where she was responsible for the firm’s marketing initiatives from initial prospective client contact, proposal submission in response to client requests, shoot-out preparation for the consultant team, to final negotiations of the award of a new search. In addition, Dr. Leonardo worked closely with the consultant team training new consultants on the critical stages of the search process. She has continued this important professional development work as AGB Search’s coordinator of new consultant training and orientation for a team of over 50 consultants. She has also been certified and serves AGB Search as the firm’s Predictive Index Analyst.

Dr. Leonardo graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Alma College (MI), received her Master of Arts in Organizational Communication from George Mason University (VA), and her Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. A native of Midland, Michigan, Dr. Leonardo resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.