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Diversified Search Group Announces New Leadership in Education Practice

Jim Sirianni, Ph.D. and Susan VanGilder to assume leadership upon the retirement of Shelly Storbeck, who will continue as Strategic Advisor

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 26, 2023) – Diversified Search Group, one of the nation’s top ten executive search firms, has announced that its highly regarded Managing Directors, Jim Sirianni, Ph.D., and Susan VanGilder, will co-lead the firm’s Education Practice following the retirement of its current leader, Shelly Storbeck, who will remain with the firm as a strategic advisor.

“Over the last three years, our Education Practice has grown significantly, and it’s a testament to Shelly’s leadership and our tremendous team who serve as trusted advisers to some of the nation’s most prestigious educational institutions,” said Aileen Alexander, CEO of Diversified Search Group. “We are delighted that Susan and Jim will be leading our highly recognized Education Practice. They will work closely with our colleagues to continue delivering high quality service and outcomes for our clients,” continued Alexander.

“Since founding Storbeck Search in 2008 and through its acquisition by Diversified Search Group in 2020, I have been enormously proud of the work that my colleagues and I have accomplished together in service of higher education and independent schools. I am turning toward this next chapter with a full heart and great confidence in my dear colleagues Jim and Susan,” said Shelly Storbeck, Global Education Practice Lead and Managing Director.

With over 30 years of executive search experience, Susan VanGilder has successfully placed leaders for numerous higher education and nonprofit institutions worldwide. She has led searches for Presidents, Provosts, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Senior Leaders in a broad range of institutions, and has a high level of repeat work with valued clients.

For more than two decades, Jim Sirianni has developed a deep understanding and a highly respected reputation in higher education. His background includes leadership roles in professional development programming for Presidents, Provosts, and Chief Business Officers and teaching higher education leadership and management.

As a strategic advisor to the Education Practice, Storbeck will work closely with Jim Sirianni, Susan VanGilder and our team of experts.  She is a highly respected search leader in the industry, placing some of the country’s most esteemed presidents and heads of schools, and is the winner of multiple national awards, including the American Council on Education Donna Shavlik Award in recognition of her commitment to advancing women in higher education and ensuring women’s equitable representation across the leadership pipeline. She also writes and speaks regularly on issues related to education.