Carolyn Stefanco Joins Global Search Firm Lindauer to Lead and Expand Higher Education Leadership Practice


Higher education leader and former college president Carolyn J. Stefanco has joined Boston-based global executive search firm Lindauer as Senior Vice President to significantly expand its higher education leadership practice. In her new role, Stefanco, who stepped down as president of The College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y. on June 30, will focus on partnering with colleges and universities to recruit the highest quality candidates to fill the roles of president, vice-president, provost, dean, and other top leadership positions.

Following two decades as a tenured professor of history, Stefanco served as dean, vice president, and president at both public and private universities, and has also held roles in institutions abroad. Her experience ranges from campuses in a large public system to private liberal arts colleges, and includes leadership positions at a polytechnic institute, a women’s college, and a Hispanic-serving institution.

“We are very excited that Carolyn has come on board to help us grow our higher education practice,” said Deb Taft, Chief Executive Officer of Lindauer. “She brings extraordinary knowledge of the challenges facing colleges and universities today and knows the qualities that leaders need to enable their institutions to fulfill their missions and thrive.”

Stefanco also has experience that will enhance Lindauer’s global reach. She was a Senior Fulbright Scholar to the University of Zagreb in Croatia and chaired the board of trustees at the American University in Bulgaria. She is currently an associate member of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Management at the University of Wollongong, Australia, where she is part of an international research team studying responsible leadership in corporations and higher education, in both the U.S. and Australia.

“I am thrilled to join the Lindauer team and work with esteemed colleagues there,” said Stefanco. “I have partnered with them in the past to find senior professionals to join the colleges and universities I was serving. Lindauer's reputation for excellence, spirit of innovation, and commitment to women's leadership and diversity, equity, and inclusion drew me to the firm, and I am looking forward to championing these values as we identify and develop the next generation of higher education leaders.”

In order to navigate the many challenges now posed by COVID-19, Stefanco believes higher education leaders must be courageous and think beyond the boundaries of their institutions and sector, expanding their networks nationally and around the world. “To be successful in this environment, we need to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers, make decisions that are consistent with our mission and values, and communicate authentically with our internal community and other important stakeholders,” she said.

Stefanco earned a Ph.D. in history from Duke University, an M.A. in women’s history from Binghamton University, and a B.A. in history and a women’s studies certificate from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She supports many educational and cultural organizations and is a fervent advocate for the Girl Scouts.

Stefanco has founded numerous programs to support women’s career advancement, including the Women's Leadership Institute at The College of Saint Rose. She has raised millions of dollars to launch initiatives to prepare young women from diverse backgrounds for leadership in their professions and communities. A sought-after speaker on women’s issues, she publishes regularly in popular and scholarly venues. She recently received a Helen Gurley Brown Genius Award in recognition of her decades of achievement.

About Lindauer

Established in 1997, Lindauer is a leading executive search firm best known for partnering with mission-driven nonprofit organizations in all sectors, but primarily in education, hospitals and academic medical centers, advocacy and public service organizations, think thanks and research centers.

Best known for placing more fundraising leaders than any other firm in the United States and its work to advance diverse professionals in nonprofits, Lindauer has expanded its scope in recent years with high profile placements of presidents, executive directors, and other marketing, analytics and operations leadership roles. Ranked in industry trade Hunt Scanlon’s top 50 executive search firms in the United States, the firm today offers a range of talent management, leadership and search services on four continents.

Released August 3rd, 2020.