Diane Charness

Diane Charness, President

Bachelor of Science, International Politics and Economics, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Master of Business Administration, Marketing, George Washington University

“Recruiting top talent to an organization, no matter its size or level of complexity, offers a transformative opportunity. The right leader will engage constituents in a way that matters deeply to the future direction of the institution, as well as its staff and supporters. I have had the great privilege of advising clients on such talent acquisition for decades, and look forward to continuing to be of service to those institutions seeking inspirational leaders and professionals.”

Diane Charness leads all facets of client searches — from candidate recruitment and selection to business development. She is known for her strategic focus, understanding of organizational dynamics and needs, and belief in the importance of leadership to guide and transform the clients she serves. With over 30 years of professional experience, Diane is considered a national leader in the executive search and staffing industry and has cultivated expertise in a number of industries including higher education, healthcare, nonprofits, membership and trade associations, philanthropy, corporations and professional services firms. With a unique view on the search process — having worked both inside organizations at a senior level as well as on the agency side — Diane brings together skills in strategic recruitment processes including the development of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) models, organizational development and leadership, candidate information systems and recruitment branding. She has successfully placed candidates in senior level positions ranging from executives to professional staff. Her understanding of the organizations she serves drives her implementation of recruitment methodologies to bring forth the best talent.

Diane brings to the Higher Talent collaborative her experience as the founder of two professional search and staffing firms, including as co-founder of Higher Talent, Inc. and as the Director, Recruitment and Staffing Services for Georgetown University. She has served hundreds of nonprofit and university leaders around the United States and provided strategic advice as to organizational leadership needs. At Georgetown, she oversaw more than 600 successful executive, management and administrative level searches per year in development and fundraising, nonprofit administration, information technology, finance and accounting, human resources, operations, communications and external affairs. Prior to her career in the search industry, Diane worked in executive level strategic planning and marketing positions with Marriott and ITT.

Considered a national expert on the subject of human resource utilization, Diane has been featured in the nation’s leading undergraduate college management textbook, Understanding Business. In addition, she has been interviewed for articles in Working Woman, Time Magazine, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and other national publications. She is a frequent speaker and moderator of panels on the subject of recruitment best practices and organizational development.

Diane is an active member of the Washington, DC community and has been elected to leadership and Board positions for prominent nonprofit organizations.