Michael A. Tappan


Mike Tappan has 46 years of experience in the executive search industry, including working for Ward Howell in New York and Moscow in 1987-2002. For the past 11 years, he has consulted on board structure, composition, and compensation, and the recruitment of international independent directors to organizations in Russia and Ukraine.

Mike began his career on Wall Street as a securities analyst and later an investment portfolio manager at a New York Stock Exchange member firm. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He entered the executive search business in 1971 as a VP in the New York office of Russell Reynolds Associates. He later opened and managed the firm’s office in Paris for three years and later worked briefly in the London office.

Mike joined Ward Howell in New York in 1987 as a partner. He was based in New York for 12 years, serving in several leadership capacities. In 1992, he co-founded the Ward Howell affiliate in Moscow and gradually shifted his concentration to the Russian market, until he moved to Moscow in 1999 as chairman. He returned to the United States in 2003 and from 2007 to 2017 co-founded and managed two search firms focused on recruitment of international directors to the boards of Russian and Ukrainian companies. He rejoined Ward Howell in 2017.

Mike has a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He has served on numerous charitable boards.

  • Board/Governance