Our Team

Team Strengths

  • Our seasoned team has served in virtually every capacity in higher education including President, Vice President, Provost, Dean, Chief Human Research Officer and Faculty members across all types and sizes of institutions. They offer expansive networks, broad knowledge and a deep understanding of higher education and recruitment at every level.   Our skilled researchers, analysts and internal recruiters ensure every search reaches the most diverse candidate pool and runs on schedule.    

Jennifer Muller

  •  Jennifer Muller, Managing Partner & Senior Consultant and CoFounder Academic Career Services - Jennifer's extensive research and development experience over the past 20 years in higher education and Fortune 500 companies gives her the experience and skills to excel in higher education recruitment. Ms. Muller has successfully led over 70 higher education searches both domestically and internationally spanning Presidents, Vice Presidents, Associate Chancellors, Deans, Directors, Chairs and faculty level positions.   
  • Ms. Muller speaks globally on issues relating to higher education recruitment. She is former vice chair of the American Council on Education (ACE) Executive Search Roundtable and serves as an advisor in the numerous ACE leadership development forums including the Women’s Leadership and Spectrum Aspiring Leaders Forums

Christopher D. Lee, Ph.D., SPHR

  •  Dr. Christopher D. Lee, Cofounder Academic Career Services – Dr. Lee is a leading authority on the search process and offers unprecedented insight having worked with over 400 search committees over the course of his career. This experience includes assisting in the selection of over 30 presidents, countless vice presidents, provosts/chief academic officers, and other senior executives. He knows what it takes to be successful in a search.   
  • Dr. Lee has served as the chief human resources officer for four institutions including public, private, two- and four-year institutions.    
  • Dr. Lee has provided search committee training to more than 1,000 human resource professionals and consulted with dozens of colleges and universities on the search process.   
  • Dr. Lee is the author of human resources related articles, chapters, blogs and three books. He authors ongoing career advice pieces for HigherEdJobs.com and other organizations.    
  • He is the founder of SearchCommittees.com, offering online resources and training materials on the search committee process and diversity. Dr. Lee has been an adjunct professor for over 20 years and is a retired lieutenant colonel from the U. S. Marine Corps Reserves.         

Dr. Allen Meadors

  •  Senior Executive Search Consultant Dr. Allen Meadors brings extensive domestic and international experience in higher education and health care administration having served as President of the University of Central Arkansas; Chancellor of University of North Carolina - Pembroke (UNCP); Penn State Altoona and President of St. John International University in Italy. He’s also served as Executive Director of the Higher Education Coordination Council in the United Arab Emirates (UAE); Senior Fellow for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and Dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Oklahoma.   
  • Dr. Meadors has written and spoken extensively on health care issues relating to health care and higher education.   
  • He served as the Associate Editor of “Frontiers in Public Health” and “Frontiers in Education”.   
  • Dr. Meadors earned certification as a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and is a Life Fellow.        

Jack Giarusso

  •  Executive Search Consultant. Jack has over 35 years experience as the Chief Human Resources Officer for the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Fitchburg State University, Quinsigamond Community College, and the Worcester Community Action Council. Over the past 32 years he has also served as an adjunct faculty member at a number of institutions teaching courses in Human Resources, Labor Relations, Management, and Public Administration. He has negotiated numerous collective bargaining agreements with more than 10 separate unions, served as the Affirmative Action officer, and has developed and conducted a variety of training and development programs for higher education and other public and private organizations. Since his retirement from UMass Lowell, Jack has served in interim roles as the CHRO at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Worcester State University and as HR consultant for the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  
  • He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Worcester State University and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Clark University.

Dr. George Swan, III

  • Executive Search Consultant Dr. George W. Swan III has more than 36 years of experience as a leader in higher education with more than a decade assisting institutions in the Higher Learning Commission region as a peer-reviewer. 
  • Dr. Swan served for 29 years at the Wayne County Community College District in multiple roles as a District Vice-Chancellor with successive portfolios including educational affairs, external affairs, district operations, and, curriculum planning and accountability. Prior to that, he was President of the District’s Eastern Campus, a district-wide academic administrator responsible for the Humanities and Social Sciences, a campus Chief Academic Officer and the senior official for public affairs and the college foundation. 
  • Dr. Swan was a human resources professional in the private sector before serving as a senior administrator and faculty member at a private business college and later, an academic administrator at Wayne State University.   

Our Team

Dr. Gilbert L. Rochon

  •  Executive Search Consultant Dr. Rochon’s over thirty years in academia include: President and University Professor at Tuskegee University; AVP for Collaborative Research at Purdue University; and Conrad Hilton Endowed Professorship & Director- Urban Studies and Public Policy Institute at Dillard University. Adjunct faculty appointments included Tulane, U. of Cincinnati & IUPUI. 
  • Dr. Rochon received his Ph.D.  from MIT, MPH from Yale University and B.A. from Xavier University of Louisiana. 
  • He held federal appointments with NASA, DoD NAVOCEANO, USDA Forest Service and EPA. 
  • Dr. Rochon served on the Association of Public & Landgrant Universities’ Board, on committees of NAFEO and UNCF and Chaired the Council of 1890 Universities.
  • Senior Member of IEEE, Project Director for NATO’s Science for Peace grant for remote sensing for early warning of disasters in Morocco, United Nations University Fellow in Sudan & Fulbright Senior Specialist in Thailand.
  • Currently, Rochon is implementing a National Academy of Sciences grant.   

Dr. Robert Kennedy

  • Executive Search Consultant Dr. Kennedy brings 40 years of experience in higher education having served as President of the University of Maine. Prior to that he served as Executive Vice President and Provost at University of Maine, Vice President for Research and Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, Texas A&M University, Vice President for Research, University of Maryland, National Science Foundation and numerous faculty positions at the University of Iowa, Washington State University, and Ohio State University. 
  • Dr. Kennedy has served leadership roles in R1, land-grant institutions, advised government bodies, and the board of advisors to the National Space Biomedical Research Institute.  
  • He has served as a consultant to the Minnesota House of Representatives, Higher Education Committee on Finance and Policy, and as a consultant on research and economic development for Minnesota. Additionally he’s provided leadership to create four Advanced Manufacturing Centers and been cited by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) for integrated and innovative thinking, planning and implementation.   
  • Dr. Kennedy received his Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley and B.A. from University of Minnesota.   
  • Dr. Kennedy and Jennifer Muller have been colleagues and conducting searches for over six years.


Dr. Duane H. Smith

  • Executive Search Consultant Dr. Duane H. Smith has more than 30 years of experience in higher education, both as a faculty member and an administrator.  He has served as a faculty member at state universities, liberal arts colleges, and research institutions, and as an academic administrator at public, private, and faith-based institutions in the US, including Saint Louis University and Temple University; he has also taught, conducted workshops, and served as a consultant on program design internationally, in China and India.  
  • In many of his leadership roles, he has worked to integrate curricular and co-curricular aspects of undergraduate studies: Honors programs, undergraduate research programs, and pre-professional health studies. He has also developed programs for underrepresented students and candidates for national and international scholarships and fellowships. 
  • Most recently, he has taught and advised on program development in China, served as a consultant on English Language programs in India, and worked with senior administrators in India and the U.S. to develop institutional partnerships.   

Dr. Charles Fey

  • Executive Search Consultant Dr. Charles J. Fey retired after a 44 year career in higher education, positions include:Vice President for Academic Support and Student Affairs, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Vice President for Student Engagement and Success, University of Akron; Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC); Dean of Students, University of Texas at El Paso; Vice President and Dean of Student Life, Our Lady of the Lake University; Dean of Students, St. Mary’s University; Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Keene State College; Director of Housing/Resident Life at Catholic University of America and Associate Dean of Students at Newbury College.  
  • Fey has been a national leader in creating campus climate promoting student achievement and success.   Fey has received numerous awards including five from ACPA and MCPA and NASPA.   
  • Dr. Fey is a strong supporter of diversity and social justice and a champion of access for all students who demonstrate a determination to succeed.   
  • He holds his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from The Pennsylvania State University and an Ed.D. in higher education administration from Texas A&M University.     

Dr. Thelma Lazo Flores

  • Executive Search Consultant  Dr. Thelma Lazo-Flores brings broad career experience in academia, professional design practice, and international exposure in higher education settings.  Through her extensive roles as an academic leader and faculty member, she conveys the holistic approach in identifying talented educators suitable for the evolving challenges at both public and private institutions. From her lengthy design practice, she recognizes the merits of interdisciplinary interactions, inclusivity in a diverse workplace, and the rigor in mission-driven organizations that contribute to the search process. Further, her global orientation and higher education exposure also cover a wide array of undertakings that complement the comprehensive selection of the finest talents for academic settings.    
  • In addition to her commitment at ACES, she remains active in online teaching, design research, and creative scholarship. A contributing member in various professional organizations, she obtained her Ph.D. in Design Science and Planning from Chiba University, Japan.  

Susan Henking

  • Executive Search Consultant Dr. Henking has 30 plus years of experience in higher education as an administrator and faculty member, manager and leader, on campuses ranging from 100 to systems up to 114,000 and with organizations including HERS, the pre-eminent leadership development organization for women in the United States. 
  • She was the 14th president of Shimer College, and the first woman since its founding in 1853. She spent 25 years at Hobart and William Smith Colleges as professor and academic administrator. As an administrator at Hobart and William Smith, Susan hired what was then the most diverse group of new faculty in the Colleges’ history. 
  • Susan has written extensively about higher education in venues including the Huffington Post and been profiled by the New York Times. She is active in a variety of higher education organizations aimed at increasing the diversity of both leaders and institutions. A scholar of American religion, Susan co-edited 2 books, has written many articles and served on the Board of the American Academy of Religion for a decade. 
  • Susan is passionate about liberal education, inclusive leadership in higher education, and social justice. She lives in upstate New York with her partner of 25 years, Betty M. Bayer. Degrees: B.A. Religion and Sociology, Duke University, MA. Ph.D. University of Chicago Divinity School, Religion and Psychological Studies

Our Team

Judith Miller, PhD, RN, FAAN

  • Executive Search Consultant Dr. Miller assumed the role of Dean and Professor at the MU Sinclair School of Nursing on August 1, 2008. Prior to this appointment, Dean Miller served as Marquette University’s College of Nursing Interim Dean with previous roles as Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research and Professor. Her faculty appointment to Marquette began in 1971.
  • Judith Miller’s professional leadership is noted by her officerships in Sigma Theta Tau International (Research Committee member and chair), Publications Committee member and chair of the Journal of Nursing Scholarship Review Committee. She held offices in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the American Nurses Association Council for Nurse Researchers, and the Midwest Nursing Research Society. She was appointed to the nation Task Force on the Implementation of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) for AACN and served on the CNL Certification Advisory Board and on the CNL National Steering Committee. She has served on community boards, the Board of Health, and Health Commissions

James F. Conneely, PhD

  •  Executive Search Consultant Dr. Conneely has over 35 years of experience in higher education administration. He has served as President, Associate Provost, Vice President, and Professor of Education in addition to other positions during his tenure at colleges and universities. He has served at the University of Maine at Augusta, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Arkansas, Emory University, Villanova University, and the University of Northern Iowa.  He has served at a full complement of institutional types as an administrator and faculty member in higher education. 
  • His areas of expertise and interest center on strategic and financial planning, auxiliary operations and financial management, retention and student success, organizational and leadership effectiveness, and student life including generational issues.
  • Dr. Conneely has been active in Southern Association for College and Schools, National Association for Student Personnel administrators including chairing the James E. Scott National Academy for Leadership and Executive Effectiveness, the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA), and other professional associations. In addition to serving in leadership positons nationally and regionally, he has also consulted in Mexico, Germany, Canada, and China in relation to his areas of expertise. 
  • Dr. Conneely received his B.A. degree from Saint Bonaventure University, his M.S. in Education from Alfred University, and his Ph.D. from Georgia State University. Additionally, he received certificates from Harvard University’s Management Development Program, Institutional for Educational Management, and New President’s programs; and a certificate from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education’s summer institute at Dartmouth University.


Lianne Dixon

  • Director of Operations. Lianne’s exceptional strategic, organizational and human skills are the ideal combination for success in this critical role in the firm. Both candidate and client interactions are strengthened by her degree in Social Work. Additionally, she brings keen research skills honed over a five year career conducting primary and secondary research.   


Internal Support Team

  • Internal Support Team comprised of researchers and search support ensure every facet and detail of each search are carefully monitored and maintained.   

We're Growing

  • Stay tuned as new members join our team.

We're Growing

  • Stay tuned as new members join our team.