February 1, 2023 – Oak Brook, IL-based search firm WittKieffer has helped to place Lori Spicer Robertson as vice president and chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. WittKieffer’s Kyle Wiederhold, principal; April Allen, consultant; Sarah Williams, strategic sourcing specialist; and Roxana Woudstra, associate, led the assignment.
Ms. Spicer Robertson joined St. Jude last year with the retirement of founding DEI officer Kelvin Womack earlier in the year. She will build on established programs, such as institution-wide DEI training, employee and ally resource groups, and the St. Jude High School Research Immersion Program, among other initiatives.
“The work of St. Jude answers challenging questions in science and pediatric medicine,” said Dr. James R. Downing, St. Jude president and CEO. “An intentional focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion ensures an array of ideas, experiences and voices are represented in service of this mission. We are pleased to welcome Lori to the senior leadership team and look forward to collaborating on ways to further strengthen a culture that encourages innovation and belonging.”
Most recently, Ms. Spicer Robertson served as vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion for Saks Fifth Avenue and saks.com, where she designed a more inclusive experience for employees, customers, and partners.
“My family operates under the motto, ‘Live in your vision, not your circumstances,’” said Ms. Spicer Robertson. “The late entertainer Danny Thomas founded St. Jude on that kind of audacious hope, and I am honored to play a part in advancing the institution’s legacy of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Prior to Saks Fifth Avenue, Ms. Spicer Robertson founded the DEI Collective in Memphis, a cross-industry collaborative of DEI leaders dedicated to creating a more just workplace and world. She also launched Wundher, an experiential platform and membership community for women and mothers.
A Memphis native, Ms. Spicer Robertson has held leadership positions with United Way of the Mid-South, First Horizon National Corp., and Regional Medical Center (now called Regional One Health). She also taught business communication as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis.
Related: WittKieffer Recruits Senior Advisor to Chancellor and Chief Inclusion Officer at Texas Christian University
Founded in 1962, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a global leader in the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other life-threatening diseases of childhood. St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center devoted solely to children. St. Jude is recognized as one of the world’s premier pediatric research and treatment institutions with a focus on acute lymphoblastic leukemia, brain tumors, and infectious diseases. With eight affiliate clinics across the country, St. Jude treats about 8,600 children each year. Beyond the U.S., the institution’s St. Jude Global initiative seeks to improve healthcare for children with life-threatening disease worldwide.
WittKieffer assists hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, medical schools, and physician groups; biotech, pharmaceutical, diagnostics, and medical device companies; colleges and universities, and not-for-profit community service and cultural organizations with senior administrative recruiting assignments. With more than 100 search professionals nationwide, its consultants recruit CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CNOs, physician executives, and other leaders.
WittKieffer Places Chief Diversity Officer at Gettysburg College
After a national search, WittKieffer has placed Eloísa Gordon-Mora as the new chief diversity officer of Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Christine Pendleton, senior associate, and Randi Miller, associate, led the assignment. Dr. Gordon-Mora serves as a member of Gettysburg’s president’s council and is charged with advancing the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities into the future. “I am delighted by Dr. Eloísa Gordon-Mora’s decision to join the Gettysburg community,” said Gettysburg college president Bob Iuliano. “She is the ideal person to partner with the campus to build off the foundational work established by Dr. Jeanne Arnold, the college’s inaugural chief diversity officer. Eloísa is committed to this work and brings with her extraordinary experience, enormous personal warmth, and a belief in what this college represents and in our ambitions for our community and beyond.”
Mr. Wiederhold, based in Auburn, AL, brings to his role broad expertise based on 13 years of diverse work experiences as well as deep knowledge of the healthcare industry and executive search process. He leads searches for professional and senior-level executives. This includes identifying the next generation of leaders such as directors, administrators, and vice presidents as well as C-suite leaders such as CEOs, CFOs, COOs and CNOs for a range of healthcare organizations, including hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, medical groups, and long-term-care facilities.
Ms. Allen, based in Louisville, KY, joined the firm in 2012 to help establish its professional search practice. Since that time, she has completed over 250 engagements. As a consultant with more than 18 years of search experience, Ms. Allen serves a range of organizations, including hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, colleges and universities, research institutions, physician practices, and specialty organizations. Ms. Allen has particular expertise in information technology, pharmacy, human resources, marketing, operations, finance, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and service line leaders.
Ms. Williams, also based in Louisville, joined WittKieffer in 2012 in the professional search practice. She is experienced in building applicant sources by researching and attracting potential candidates via social media systems and professional networks. Ms. Williams works closely with her consulting colleagues to align sourcing activities to meet client requirements and build strong talent pools meeting specific profiles. She works with clients at large healthcare systems, academic medical centers, and critical access hospitals where she helps secure candidates for positions in human resources, diversity and equity, finance, revenue cycle, nursing, marketing and others.
Ms. Woudstra, who is based in Burlington, MA, brings a wealth of experience in higher education as well as the government sector to her role. She cares deeply about the clients and candidates she supports, striving to identify exceptional individuals to align with the strategic needs of an institution. Ms. Woudstra supports a range of executive searches from director and department chair to the vice presidential level.
Related: WittKieffer Seeking Chief Diversity Officer for Brandeis University
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media