The board of a newly formed European foundation devoted to address climate change required a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to build a high-performing, transnational organization from the ground up.
The board of this new foundation had a clear vision for its organization: rather than have a high public profile, the foundation would operate behind the scenes to drive policy change at the highest levels. It would move comfortably in the NGO world, yet function like a focused, results orientated and expertise-centered business. It truly would be transnational, working with international and national government agencies to advance its agenda.
The board realized that choosing the right CEO to launch this venture would be critical. This leader would need to have not only an exceptionally diverse set of experiences and competencies but also an entrepreneurial mindset and track record of success. He or she would need to be both the charismatic visionary and the evidence-based leader.
Russell Reynolds Associates convened an international engagement team composed of both energy and nonrofit experts. Combining networks, knowledge and resources, the team presented the board with half a dozen candidates from across Europe. The board quickly chose a finalist with high-level CEO experience spanning the public and private sectors and who embodied the culture the board was looking to create. After a short time, the new CEO had a full team in place, ready to address the formidable challenge of climate change.