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Dale E. Jones is Awarded Executive Search Industry’s Highest Honor

NEW YORK — Calling him “a role model for leadership within our profession,” Association of Executive Search Consultants President Karen Greenbaum presented Dale E. Jones, the CEO of the Diversified Search Group, with the organization’s “Award of Excellence” this week at the AESC’s annual Global Conference. The Award of Excellence is the AESC’s highest award.

In making the award presentation, Greenbaum spoke about Jones’s deep commitment to servant leadership and DEI. “Dale not only shares these axioms, he lives them every day. Dale’s commitment to elevating the executive search industry to a higher purpose is apparent in his work, his philanthropy, and the deep relationships he has built with clients,” she said. As one of the industry’s “leading and loudest voices” around corporate social responsibility, she said, “Dale believes in the power of shared values, and the critical mission of being an organization that carries purpose beyond profits.”

In his acceptance remarks, Jones recalled his humble upbringing as the son of a widowed shoe cobbler and weekend janitor, and how he benefitted from great mentors who saw his potential and made sure that it did not remain untapped. He also gave thanks to Founder and Chair Judith M. von Seldeneck, who brought him to Diversified Search as CEO in 2013.

“Now we are one of the leading, foremost firms helping to provide leadership for organizations, known for our great work in and around diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Jones said. “This has been a great experience, and I am so humbled the AESC would award me this honor, because we believe to whom much is given, much is required.”

The Award of Excellence “recognizes an individual who makes an outstanding impact in the executive search and leadership consulting profession, especially in reinforcing the AESC commitment to the highest professional standards.” It was presented at the AESC’s Global Conference, held virtually from November 17th to the 19th. The conference attracted more than 16,000 attendees from around the world, and featured speakers and panels centered around such topics as Leading Through the Unknown, ESG and Responsible Investment, and Inclusion at the Heart of Business Strategy. Janice Ellig, CEO of Ellig Group, was also presented with the Award of Excellence.

Jones joined Diversified Search — following several key acquisitions, the firm became known as the Diversified Search Group earlier this year — after establishing himself as one of the search industry’s premier leaders at Heidrick & Struggles, where he served as Vice Chairman and Partner of the CEO and Board Practice. In addition to his role as the CEO of the Diversified Search Group, Jones also serves on the boards of Northwestern Mutual, The Special Olympics, and Morehouse College, his alma mater. He also serves as a Global Board Member of AltoPartners, the international alliance of search firms with offices in more than 30 countries around the world.

“In almost 50 years of overseeing an executive search firm, I have had to make a lot of important decisions,” said von Seldeneck. “And none has been better than the one I made to hire Dale Jones as our CEO. His brilliance, compassion, insight, and commitment to clients, and to making the world a better place to live, are unmatched in our industry. I am proud to have him leading our firm.”

You can see the award presentation, and Jones’s acceptance remarks, below.


 The Diversified Search Group has led the shift to redefine success in executive search by building a more innovative and diverse business model. The only major woman-founded search firm in the U.S., since 1974 our quest has been to identify the best leaders for the future. Today, our business approach and family of companies has been recognized by Forbes as a top-five search firm in the U.S. and the fastest-growing company in the executive search sector.

Purpose: Our mission, vision, values, culture, and people all center on our belief that the right leader in the right place can transform people, organizations, and the world. We are unmatched in our ability to identify and place diverse candidates from all over the nation and, through our global alliance with AltoPartners, the world.

Progress: We boast a modern, innovative, and unique operating model that liberates from convention, increases opportunity, builds morale and builds careers. Working together across sectors and industries, our family of firms delivers strong partnership, collaboration, and thought leadership, and richer opportunities from deeper talent pools.

Performance: We do well by doing good, offering new solutions and approaches for the 21st Century and sourcing the widest pools of talent. We offer an unparalleled track record when it comes to impact, results, consistency, and stakeholder value.

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Heather Campion, Managing Director | 617.279.8593