WittKieffer Tapped by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to Find Chief People Officer

December 12, 2019 – Executive search firms have been stepping up their efforts to assist companies across the nation to find top talent leaders, including chief people officers. The latest: WittKieffer has been retained by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to lead its search for a new chief people officer. Kim Smith, Tom Quinn and Kerry Quealy are leading the assignment.

“This is a unique, career-defining opportunity for an influential, visionary human resources and talent executive who wishes to advance an already world- class workforce to support Dana-Farber’s ambitious strategic goals,” said WittKieffer.

The new chief people officer will have the opportunity to further the organization’s mission of providing expert, compassionate care to children and adults with cancer while advancing research into the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of cancer and related diseases. It is an opportunity for a purpose-driven executive to have a direct and meaningful impact upon the lives of employees, patients and families.

Compelling candidates for the position will have demonstrated success leading teams and initiatives in a highly complex environment. “This is a relation-based leadership role, and the chief people officer must develop and maintain effective working relationships across the Institute and with external partners,” the search firm said. “The successful candidate will have experience as an influencer within the senior-most level of their organization with proven success advancing workforce culture, professional development, employee relations and talent acquisition.”

“This role requires an innovative, highly driven executive who is by nature performance- and metrics-oriented,” the recruiter noted. “Above all, outstanding candidates will embody the values of Dana-Farber and display the highest level of professional integrity.”

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and one of the most respected names in cancer treatment worldwide. It is the only center ranked in the top five of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals for both adult and pediatric cancer care. Dana-Farber’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement and advocacy.

Dana-Farber provides the latest in cancer for adults through Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Care and for children through Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. The organization’s workplace is complex and growing, with a paid headcount and total workforce that increased six percent in 2018 to 4,855 and 9,249, respectively.

Veteran Recruiters

WittKieffer, based in Oak Brook, IL, assists hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, medical schools and physician groups; biotech, pharmaceutical, diagnostics and medical device companies; colleges and universities and not-for-profit community service and cultural organizations with senior administrative recruiting assignments. With more than 100 search professionals nationwide, its consultants recruit CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CNOs, physician executives and other leaders.


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Ms. Smith is a senior partner at WittKieffer and leads the firm’s academic medicine and health sciences practice. Her expertise blends a professional backdrop as a former hospital executive with the experiential learning that comes with leading senior leadership searches in academic medicine, health sciences and community healthcare. Based in the firm’s Boston office, Ms. Smith focuses on searches for CEOs, COOs, physician executives, medical school deans and other senior and academic administrators.

Mr. Quinn specializes in all aspects of executive search for healthcare organizations. He also consults with clients on talent management and organizational development, compensation, employee development and onboarding. In addition to conducting searches spanning the C-suite, Mr. Quinn is at the forefront of WittKieffer’s work in finance executive search, and he concurrently serves as the firm’s managed care practice leader. He is well positioned to serve vertically-integrated delivery systems as well as the many organizations that are defining alternative delivery models in their respective regions.

A senior associate with the firm’s academic medicine practice, Ms. Quealy emphasizes precision and a high standard of quality in her work with clients in need of senior leadership. These qualities have aided her involvement in a broad range of search assignments on behalf of academic medical centers, hospitals and health systems, research institutes, physician group practices, colleges and universities, public health organizations and not-for-profit institutions. She is based in the firm’s Oak Brook, IL, office.

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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