As a higher education administrator and search consultant for two decades, Zach Smith leverages a breadth of organizational and leadership experience in delivering exceptional service and results for his clients. He has a keen understanding of the importance of leadership effectiveness as it relates to institutional culture and is particularly skillful at identifying candidates who have the propensity for success on a given campus or in a given organization.
Based in Irvine, California, Zach conducts searches for senior executives within education, healthcare and the nonprofit sector. He has supported and led presidential searches for AAU, research, regional comprehensive, polytechnic and liberal arts institutions. He has also supported executive leadership searches for a broad range of public and private universities and healthcare organizations, in areas ranging from advancement to athletics to finance.
Prior to joining WittKieffer, Zach served as UC Riverside’s interim chief development officer/associate vice chancellor and executive vice president for the UC Riverside Foundation. He also worked in the advancement and academic medicine divisions at UC Irvine. Zach is a frequent presenter at industry events with a focus on leadership development, the search process, and overall talent management trends. He is the co-author of Making the Case for Leadership: Profiles of Chief Advancement Officers in Higher Education, and has published articles in the Journal of Leadership and Organization Studies, the International Journal of Educational Advancement, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Zach serves on WittKieffer’s board of directors. In 2016, he received a WittKieffer Quality Award recognizing his clients’ satisfaction and his overall impact on the firm’s values and ideals.