Michelle Bonoan

Managing Director

Managing Directors, Nonprofit and Social Impact

With over 25 years of experience as a search consultant, Michelle has led executive searches across a wide range of industries and functions. She brings an authentic DEI lens to her work and partners with clients to create an inclusive and equitable search process from start to completion. As a specialist serving the mission-driven and social impact sectors, Michelle has successfully completed searches for executives at the highest tiers, including CEO, President & Executive Director, Chief Development Officer, Chief Financial Officer, other fundraising leadership, program management, and a wide range of other key positions.

Her clients are nationwide and include major clients dedicated to philanthropy, social justice, education, food justice, social services, AAPI community and issues, arts and culture, children and family services, LGBTQ community and issues, environment, and health-related issues, as well as prominent educational institutions such as research and private universities, small liberal arts colleges, and independent college preparatory schools.

Michelle has led searches for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Para los Niños, Community Partners, LA Family Housing, County of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Safe Place for Youth, Global Fund for Women, Foothill Family, Futures Without Violence, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, Callen-Lorde Community Center, Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles, California Immigrant Policy Center, Thousand Currents, Southern California Public Radio, Little Tokyo Service Center, Asian American Foundation, The Trevor Project, Ballmer Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, California Wellness Foundation, and James Irvine Foundation.

Most recently Michelle was a Partner with Heidrick & Struggles, one of the top four global executive search firms where she was a core member of the Education, Nonprofit, and Social Enterprise practice. Michelle began her career in executive search in 1996 with a boutique retained executive search firm based in Los Angeles serving education institutions, nonprofit organizations, and corporations nationwide. She established the firm’s practice exclusively serving education and nonprofit clients, and ultimately became Vice President and Education & Nonprofit Practice Leader. Later, she worked for a national search firm where she opened the Southern California office dedicated to the education and nonprofit sectors and strengthened that firm’s brand in the western region.


BBA, Management
California State University, Northridge