Sonya Olds Som, Esq.

Global Managing Partner, Legal, Risk, Compliance, and Government Affairs

Board of Directors, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Legal, Risk, Compliance & Government Affairs, Managing Directors

Sonya Olds Som, Esq. serves as the Global Managing Partner of Diversified Search Group’s Legal, Risk, Compliance, and Government Affairs executive search practice group.

Combining an extensive background in executive search focused on the legal sector, and substantial prior experience as a practicing attorney, with a demonstrated history of championing diverse and inclusive leadership, Sonya leads executive search and consulting assignments, and advises corporate, higher education, and non-profit clients seeking to recruit and retain top-tier professionals, including Board members, Chief Legal Officers, General Counsels, Chief Compliance Officers, Chief Information Security Officers, Chief Diversity Officers, and other C-suite executives, across various industries and geographies.

Sonya is recognized nationwide for her dedication to forging meaningful connections among individuals and organizations. Her unrivaled ability lies in establishing strategic relationships with both employers and candidates through a highly authentic, personalized, and consultative approach. Leveraging her decades of combined expertise in recruitment, and labor & employment and immigration law, Sonya has successfully identified, nurtured and recruited top talent on a global scale for many leading organizations.

Sonya regularly provides thought leadership nationally through participation in panel discussions, podcasts, media interviews, and active social media engagement.

Prior to joining Diversified Search Group, Sonya was a Partner for several years in Heidrick & Struggles’ Chicago office and a member of the firm’s Legal, Risk, Compliance and Government Affairs Search, CEO & Board Search, and Diversity Advisory Services practice groups.

Preceding her time with Heidrick & Struggles, Sonya was a Partner at Major, Lindsey & Africa. For nearly a decade, she led various recruiting initiatives within the legal field, including identifying and developing legal talent, and spearheading numerous business development and marketing activities firmwide. She was able to leverage a deep professional network and reputation throughout the legal industry to help place leaders in global legal departments and top law firms.

Before embarking on her career in executive search in 2010, Sonya was a law firm partner and practice group leader. She practiced labor & employment and immigration law at several large law firms for over a decade.

Sonya has been honored by several organizations in recent years for her work in helping to diversify the legal profession, including the National Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, Metropolitan Black Bar Association of New York, and Ms. JD. She is very active in nonprofit work, including as a member of the boards of the American Writers Museum and Girls, Inc. of Chicago, serving as a board member and the Midwest Chapter Chair of the Cornell Black Lawyers Alumni Network, and serving on the executive committee of the Quantum Leadership Foundation. Sonya lives with her husband and son in Chicago with their cat and dog.


JD, International Legal Affairs with Concentration in Business Law
Cornell Law School

BA, English with Honors
Kalamazoo College