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Executive Search

Every C-level leader has the potential to transform an organization for the better.

The hiring of a C-level executive is a pivot point for any mission-driven organization. The choice of a Chief Executive Officer or Executive Director – a nonprofit board’s most important decision – is typically made with a healthy mix of anticipation, inspiration, and anxiety. The question of whether to hire for the vision that a leader brings to the table, or to a vision articulated by the board, often elevates the process associated with these high-stakes hires.

Drawing on our roots as a strategic planning firm, Development Guild DDI continues to use our strategic framework to conduct far-ranging, highly consequential searches. For every C-level, executive, and vice president-level search, we perform a thoughtful and thorough opportunity assessment that shapes and translates a client’s needs and expectations into a robust promotion of the opportunity that attracts stellar candidates. Our deep sector knowledge – which spans education, academic medicine, social justice, the arts, and more – informs our understanding of the issues and demands facing top-level leaders, and positions us to identify and engage truly inspiring candidates.

Development Guild DDI is known throughout the nonprofit sphere for recruiting senior leaders who are fully prepared to energize their colleagues and catalyze their bold vision. The proven approach we employ to recruit and place executive leaders creates follow-on benefits when those leaders go on to recruit team members at the vice president and director level.

"Development Guild DDI is a one-of-a-kind search firm. I was deeply impressed with their ability to really understand our institution’s unique culture and to then translate that knowledge into recruiting a Chief Development Officer who not only brings the professional expertise required but a sincere passion for our mission. "


- Richard Grahn, President and CEO, National Coast Guard Museum

Our Strategy

See Opportunities

Ask Questions

Bring Goals to Life

We see opportunities through a fundamentally different lens. Our services are based in a deep understanding of strategy and a shared desire for impact.

Development Guild DDI named to Forbes inaugural America’s Best Executive Search Firms 2017 list.

We are proud to be ranked in the top 100 firms selected on the basis of results from a rigorous independent peer review survey of more than 4,000 executive recruiters, candidates who have worked with recruiters, and human resource managers. Forbes worked with the analytics firm Statista to compile the rankings from the over 20,000 recommendations collected.

Development Guild DDI is a proud member of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Council.

To learn more visit the AESC website and read Our Search Standards.