Jean Dowdall is widely recognized both for her success as a search consultant and as the author of Searching for Higher Education Leadership: Advice for Candidates and Search Committees, and of numerous articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education and elsewhere. Jean specializes in senior executive searches for colleges, universities and other not-for-profit organizations.
Following a faculty career, she began her administrative career as an American Council on Education fellow at UCLA, and then became a dean of arts and sciences (West Chester University), vice president for academic affairs (Arcadia University) and president (Simmons College). Jean became a search consultant in 1996 and since then she has carried out more than 250 searches for executive leadership, including over 60 searches for presidents and chancellors. She participated actively in programs designed to prepare women and people of color for success in administrative searches.
Jean holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology (Phi Beta Kappa) and a Ph.D. in sociology from Brown University, as well as a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Rochester, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.