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Mercedes Chacon Vance

Mercedes Chacon Vance is a principal in Witt/Kieffer’s Education Practice and leader of the practice's Advancement team, and is a firm believer in open, honest and consistent communication with clients and candidates. In her daily work she prioritizes connecting with top leaders across academia to strengthen her network of candidates while offering individuals guidance and counsel in their careers.

Based in Portland, Maine, Mercedes has participated in more than 150 successful leadership searches, identifying presidents, vice presidents, deans and other senior leaders on behalf of a broad spectrum of institutions. She has a particular expertise in institutional advancement and development and has worked on more than 40 such searches in the past three years. She directs the executive search process from start to finish, including locating top candidates and supporting the research, interviewing, negotiating and follow-up. A 2017 Witt/Kieffer Quality Award winner, Mercedes offers her clients a comprehensive, consultative approach, engaging with them throughout and beyond the recruiting process.

Her professional activities include involvement with organizations such as CASE and ACE, for which she has presented on strategic talent management topics. Mercedes has also presented to the ACE Women’s Network and other career-focused groups on assessing readiness and planning career moves.

Prior to joining Witt/Kieffer in 2000, Mercedes worked in corporate retained search. It was her commitment to organizations that enhance diversity and quality of life that brought her back to education and not-for-profit executive search work. In her personal life as well she is committed to serving not-for-profits and volunteers with a wide variety of organizations in her community.

B.S., Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH



Thought Leadership


Current Searches

Drury University | Vice President for Enrollment Management and Operations for Adult and Online Education | Springfield, MO
Kennesaw State University | Dean of the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology | Kennesaw, GA
Morris Animal Foundation | Chief Development Officer | Denver, CO
Syracuse University | Executive Director of Marketing Strategy – Advancement | Syracuse, NY
Temple University | Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations for the Fox School of Business | Philadelphia, PA
University of Chicago | Executive Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting | Chicago, IL
University of Illinois at Springfield | Dean, College of Business & Management | Springfield, IL
University of Kentucky | Senior Director of Philanthropy, College of Engineering | Lexington, KY
University of Miami | Vice President for Medical Development and Alumni Relations | Coral Gables, FL
University of Missouri-Kansas City | Chief Advancement Officer | Kansas City, MO
University of Northern Colorado | Provost and Senior Vice President | Greeley, CO

Recent Searches

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Mercedes Chacon Vance
Portland, ME
Phone: 630-575-6175
Fax: 630-990-1382
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