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Jean A. Dowdall, Ph.D.

Jean Dowdall, partner, specializes in senior executive searches for colleges, universities and other not-for-profit organizations. She brings 30 years of experience in higher education and has been a search consultant since 1996. Following a faculty career, she began her administrative career as an American Council on Education (ACE) fellow, and then became a dean of arts and sciences (West Chester University, West Chester, PA), vice president (Arcadia University, Glenside, PA) and president (Simmons College, Boston, MA).

Jean has carried out more than 150 searches for executive leadership, including over 50 searches for presidents and chancellors. She is the author of Searching for Higher Education Leadership: Advice for Candidates and Search Committees and is a frequent columnist and speaker on executive search. Her columns for the Chronicle of Higher Education are archived at


Ph.D., Sociology, Brown University, Providence, RI
M.A., Anthropology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
B.A., Anthropology, Brown University, Providence, RI, Phi Beta Kappa


Thought Leadership


Current Searches

American University of Sharjah | Provost | UAE, OU
Boston College | Dean, School of Social Work | Chestnut Hill, MA
Graduate Center of the City University of New York | Provost and Senior Vice President | New York, NY
Northwestern University | Director, Searle Center for Learning and Teaching | Evanston, IL
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill | Dean of the School of Education | Chapel Hill, NC

Recent Searches

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Jean A. Dowdall, Ph.D.
Philadelphia, PA
Phone: 630-575-6131
Fax: 215-238-6523
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