WittKieffer Names Zach Smith, Ph.D., New Leader of Firm’s Education Practice

WittKieffer announced Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., as managing partner of its Education Practice, effective July 1, 2020. Smith inherits the role from colleague Robin Mamlet, with whom he co-led the practice for the past year as part of a planned transition. Mamlet, who has led the practice to a place of great strength, remains with the firm and will continue to partner with Smith in the coming year while also devoting more time to leadership searches for presidents, provosts and other key positions.

In the position, Smith will oversee operations and manage the more than 30 consultants within the Education Practice, ensuring continued exceptional quality and client service. Smith benefits from a wealth of higher education administration experience. Prior to joining WittKieffer in 2014, he served as interim chief development officer and associate vice chancellor at University of California, Riverside, in addition to his role as executive vice president of the UC Riverside Foundation. He also worked in the advancement and academic medicine divisions at University of California, Irvine. Since joining WittKieffer, he has supported and led executive leadership searches for a broad range of public and private universities, academic medical centers and hospitals. Smith also serves on the company’s board of directors.

“Zach shares the same dedication as Robin to bringing transformational leadership to mission-driven institutions around the world,” said Andrew Chastain, president and CEO of WittKieffer. “In his extensive work and his service to our board, he has helped us to maintain our high standards of quality and excellence. We know that he will build on Robin’s leadership, continuing to expand the ways that we serve today’s colleges and universities as they make a difference to their communities and society at large.”

Smith holds a Ph.D. in Education Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration along with a master’s degree from the University of Nevada,Las Vegas. He received his bachelor’s degree from Boise State University. He is a frequent presenter at industry events with a focus on leadership development, the search process and overall talent management trends. Smith co-authored “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.