The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Selects Spencer Stuart for CEO Search

January 26, 2023 – The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has retained Spencer Stuart to lead in its search for a new president and chief executive officer. Wendy Guillies recently retired after leading the Kansas City, MO-based organization for eights years of her 22-year career with the foundation. Trustee Susan Chambers will continue in her interim role as president and CEO, ensuring all the functions of the foundation continue to run smoothly. “As we settle into the New Year, we are pleased to begin our intentional work of identifying a new CEO to carry the important work of the foundation forward,” said Esther George, chair of the board of trustees. “Our work prioritizes Kansas City and the surrounding region, championing initiatives, organizations, and communities that test innovative solutions and seek to change conditions that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography.”

“On behalf of the board of trustees, I am delighted to share that we have selected globally respected leadership advisory firm Spencer Stuart to lead the search for the foundation’s new president and CEO,” said Ms. George. “We believe Spencer Stuart’s approach to listening to communities served, its ability to draw upon diverse networks, and its collaborative approach with our board is the combination we need to find the leader for the next generation of the foundation.”

“The search committee, comprised of trustees Susan Chambers, Karen Daniel, Miriam Rivera, Paul Schofer, and myself, reviewed firms local and national, big and small, and felt that Spencer Stuart could best help us define our needs and determine the right candidate to honor Mr. Kauffman’s commitment to, and legacy in, Kansas City,” Ms. George said.

Search is Underway

The search will begin immediately with a series of community listening sessions, stakeholder interviews, and internal feedback sessions with foundation associates.

“Following that process a job description will be posted, and the trustees expect a very diverse pipeline of applicants drawing from the Kansas City region and nationally,” said Ms. George. “A specific timeline for the selection process has not been set. The trustees are focusing on finding the right candidate to carry the important work of the foundation forward.”

Related: Spencer Stuart Recruits CEO for the American Institute of Architects

Founded in 1966, The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a registered 501 non-profit, private foundation. The foundation looks to prepare people for success in their jobs and careers, so that everyone has the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity. The organization’s work is grounded in the principles of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion and is consistent with the aspirations of its founder, Ewing Marion Kauffman.

Spencer Stuart Helps the Museum of Contemporary Art Find New Leader
Spencer Stuart has assisted in the recruitment of Johanna Burton as executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. She was selected after an extensive international search. “Johanna is an accomplished leader whose experience, management skills and passion prepare her for this important new role,” said Maria Seferian, chair of the museum’s board of trustees. “We believe that this new model of distributed leadership with an executive director working in partnership with an artistic director is responsive to this moment in our history. We are moving toward an interconnected team model focused on advancing institutional missions with mutual trust and responsibility.”

Privately held since 1956, Spencer Stuart focuses on delivering knowledge, insight, and results through the collaborative efforts of a team of search professionals, now spanning 56 offices, 30 countries, and more than 50 practice specialties. Spencer Stuart helps clients address their leadership needs in areas such as senior-level executive search, board recruitment, board effectiveness, succession planning, in-depth senior management assessment, and many other facets of organizational effectiveness.

Serving Non-Profits

Spencer Stuart’s consultants have an average of more than 20 years of senior-level non-profit and industry experience, and work with top organizations, including top institutions of higher education, independent schools, foundations, NGOs and associations, as well as leading museums, performing arts organizations, major cultural organizations and other non-profits.

Over the past five years, Spencer Stuart has conducted more than 900 executive and board searches globally, the majority for CEOs, presidents, chairmen, executive directors, and other C-suite roles. Ninety-four percent of the firm’s executive search placements in the past five years are still in their roles today. Also in that time, nearly half of all of the firm’s placements in the sector have been diverse. Of these placements, 75 percent are in president, CEO, dean, executive director and other top leadership roles.

Related: Spencer Stuart Places President for Davidson College 

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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