Based in Portland, Maine, Mercedes Chacón Vance, senior partner, has participated in more than 150 successful leadership searches, identifying presidents, vice presidents and deans on behalf of a broad spectrum of institutions. Mercedes 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.
Mercedes supports a broad range of engagements, from presidents and provosts to vice presidents and deans. She has particular expertise in 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 WittKieffer 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 WittKieffer, 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. She is committed to serving not-for-profits in her personal life as well and volunteers with a wide variety of organizations in her community.