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Search Firm

Search Firm

The Presidential Search Committee has partnered with executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, who for more than 40 years has been a national leader in executive recruiting. Witt/Kieffer ranks among the top 10 executive search firms nationwide and is the single largest firm specializing in senior-level executive search assignments for higher education, health care and not-for-profit organizations. Headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, the firm has offices in 17 major cities across the country and has created a national network of more than 90 expert search consultants who have keen insights into local and regional markets.

Witt/Kieffer clients include major colleges and universities, arts and cultural organizations, national associations and leading hospitals and health systems. Within the Education practice, the firm specializes in executive searches for presidents, chancellors, provosts, deans, senior advancement officers and leaders of major academic and administrative units such as finance, enrollment management and student affairs. Visit to learn more.

Search Team

Robin G. Mamlet

Robin G. Mamlet

Managing Partner, Education Practice

Robin Mamlet, managing partner, Education, leads the strategic direction and operations of the practice. She ensures the highest level of quality and superior service to the firm’s education clients, while directing search assignments for presidents, provosts, deans, chief advancement officers and chief public affairs and communications, diversity, student affairs and enrollment officers.

Mamlet draws on nearly 30 years of experience in education, lending wisdom and proven expertise in reaching out to and attracting individuals who will thrive in a given institutional culture. She brings to her executive search practice a deep understanding of the market forces, public perception, commercialization and philanthropic imperatives that increasingly influence academia, and the qualities required for effective leadership in today’s complex world of education and non-profit management.

A national leader on access and diversity recruitment, Mamlet came to Witt/Kieffer after 23 years in academic administration, most recently as dean of admission and financial aid at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. She also served as senior officer at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York; and The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Prior to that, Mamlet worked at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, and Pomona College in Claremont, California.

A writer and frequent speaker on education, career paths and talent development, Mamlet has been published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Her book on college admission, published by Three Rivers Press of Random House, came out in August 2011 and was updated in 2013.


A.B., English, Occidental College, Los Angeles, California



Veena Abraham, J.D.


Veena Abraham, J.D. is an associate in Witt/Kieffer’s Education practice. In her work with clients, Veena prioritizes discovering the unique skill sets and goals of her candidates in order to match them with the institution that will help them achieve their aspirations. She engages in a broad range of searches for senior academic administrators, including presidents, provosts and deans, at distinguished educational and cultural institutions across the nation. She is based in Miami, Florida. 

Prior to joining Witt/Kieffer, Veena was Senior Director of Regional Engagement for the University of Miami in Florida. In this role, Veena led the vision for the regional strategy for the University of Miami Alumni Association and was responsible for the planning and implementation of programs that strategically engaged alumni. Additionally, Veena served as the Associate Director of Regional Programs for Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Prior to working in higher education, Veena practiced law as a corporate immigration attorney and was a retail buyer for Bloomingdale’s. 

Veena is the recipient of the 2015 CASE District III Award of Excellence for Best Practices in Alumni Relations, 2014 CASE Circle of Excellence Bronze Award for Special Events: Year Long, ands the 2014 District III Award of Excellence for Alumni Programs. In addition, she serves on the Georgetown University Miami Alumni Club Executive Board and is a Georgetown Alumni Admissions Interviewer. 


J.D., University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, FL 
B.S., Business Administration, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 

Sheila Murphy


Sheila Murphy is an executive search consultant in Witt/Kieffer’s Education practice. She supports nationwide searches for presidents, chancellors, provosts, and deans, as well as vice presidents for student affairs, academic affairs, finance and administration, development/ advancement, enrollment, and other areas. Sheila is based in Boston. 

Prior to joining Witt/Kieffer, Sheila served in Cabinet-level leadership roles in higher education for 25 years. She has been Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, with broad responsibility for undergraduate and graduate student life. She has worked at Simmons College, Mount Holyoke College, Russell Sage College and Mount Ida College as the senior student affairs officer. 

Sheila has served on a number of education and nonprofit boards, and has published and spoken extensively on the topic of the changing nature of student affairs, women’s leadership, and the partnership relationship between the provost and other institutional leaders. She has served in regional and national leadership roles NASPA: Student Affairs in Higher Education as well as other education and leadership organizations. 

Recent search work includes searches for senior level positions at St. Francis College; Laboure College; Gonzaga University; University of the Pacific; The New School; Rutgers University and Sacred Heart University. 


M.Ed., Administration, Planning and Policy, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 
B.A., Sociology, Stonehill College, Easton, MA