Forbes Names DRi One of the Best Executive Search Firms in the U.S. for 6th Consecutive Year

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Congratulations to Kendra Davenport and Operation Smile

For 35 years, Operation Smile has built an end-to-end set of medical interventions that has delivered free surgeries to more than 240,000 children in 80 countries and strengthened ongoing medical care in their communities. Operation Smile has won more than a dozen national and international awards, including the first Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

To advance its ambitious agenda, Operation Smile recently worked with DRiWaterstone to identify a new Chief Development Officer to be the chief strategist and leader for a comprehensive, integrated fundraising program that includes mass market direct response programs, major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, strategic partnerships, and special events.

Today we congratulate Kendra Davenport for becoming this CDO. Kendra has 20 years of experience leading development programs, including 5 years as a C-suite executive. In her most recent role, Kendra led a 9-person staff and doubled funding to more than $8M at the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation as the CEO. She has personally raised 30% of the $20M unrestricted goal at Project HOPE. She has also previously led a development team of 12 people to raise $48M overall at Africare, while also managing operations and programs teams, which makes her the perfect candidate for Operation Smile.

DRiWaterstone wishes Operation Smile and Kendra Davenport success in their work together.


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Reaching around the globe, DRworked with the American Research Center in Egypt to find Louise Bertini as the next ARCE Director for Egypt.

returning client, DRrecently worked with The American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) to find their current Executive Director and Director of DevelopmentARCE was formed in 1948 by a consortium of American educational and cultural institutions to assist American scholars conducting research in Egypt. Since 1993, it has expanded its role and worked in close collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development and Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities to conserve dozens of monuments and train hundreds of local archaeologists and architectural conservators. During Egypt’s civil unrest, ARCE provided much-needed conservation equipment after the Institute d’Egypte was burned. Besides conserving vital cultural sites, ARCE strengthens Egyptian-American relations through close collaboration between scholars and conservationists. Though its work and partnerships, ARCE is committed to preserving an irreplaceable birthplace of human civilization.

As part of its rapidly expanding impact, ARCE was in need of a full-time, regionally based Director for Egypt. The ARCE Director would not only have to be an expert on all things relating to Egyptian archaeology, but also be a confident and capable representative for ARCE’s extensive activities. Among many qualified experts, Louise’s expertise stood out. Holding a Ph.D. in Egyptian Archeology, Louise served as a Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo and has participated in over 20 archaeological digs, the majority being in Egypt. An ARCE member since 2003 and residing in Egypt for the last decade, Louise has worked with partners ranging from the State Department to PBS. Her experience as a spokesperson and recruiting partners will be essential for ARCE’s operations in Egypt.

It was a pleasure to work with ARCE once again and we wish Louise luck in her new role.

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DRwas pleased to work with the White House Historical Association, a returning client, and identify Lucy Crowley as its new Director of Marketing. At WHHA, Lucy will play a key role in enhancing the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the White House and its history.

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy founded the White House Historical Association in 1961 to help the White House collect and exhibit the very best artifacts of American history and culture. WHHA was charged with funding the maintenance and refurbishment of the public rooms of the White House and serving as the steward of the White House’s fine and decorative arts, including both historic objects associated with the building and Presidency and significant works by various American and European artists and craftsmen. Today, WHHA’s acquisition, preservation, research, and education efforts continue through generous private donations and the sale of books, products, and the official White House Ornament.

Taking responsibility for promoting the Association’s wide range of cultural and educational programs, as well as retail items, the Director of Marketing ensures a consistent and compelling identity in all forms of external outreach. Lucy’s prior experience in compelling messaging will prove to be essential for WHHA. She previously served as the Marketing and Publications Specialist for American University’s Katzen Arts Center. In this role, she saw all marketing initiatives for 6 to 8 concurrent, rotating exhibits. During Lucy’s tenure, museum attendance has nearly doubled and the museum received over 130 press mentions in 2016 alone.  Additionally, she served as a Communications Manager for the American Beverage Association, where she oversaw internal and external communications and messaging. Lucy received her M.A. in Arts Management and her B.A. in Art History from American University.

We were happy to have worked with the White House Historical Association again and wish Lucy success in her new position.

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DRrecently partnered with The Guardian to identify Emily Cozart as the inaugural Director of Philanthropy for

The Guardian has a 200-year commitment to exceptional reporting and investigative journalism. Its award-winning original coverage, from national security phone hacking to the Panama Papers, has consistently fought to hold power accountable and to make the world a better, fairer place. Based in the U.K., the Guardian began operating in the U.S. in 2011, bringing high-quality independent journalism and a global perspective to the most pressing challenges facing the country.

Adapting to numerous changes in the media landscape throughout its 200-year, its most recent initiative is, a new 501(c)3 nonprofit that will be dedicated to making philanthropic partnerships a reliable form of support for independent commercial journalism. Pursuing donors who recognize and appreciate the importance of preserving independent press that cutting-edge investigative reporting relies on, The Guardian seeks to provide a new funding model for all media organizations interested in advancing the public good. Additionally, the philanthropic partnerships The Guardian pursues ensures that all of its content is easily accessible, not behind a paywall, and available to all that are interested in the most pressing current events.

As a new enterprise, the Director of Philanthropy would have to be bold, enterprising, and effective. DRand The Guardian quickly realized that Emily could be trusted with such responsibilities. Serving in a variety of development roles within Mother Jones, Emily possessed a proven ability to connect donors with editorial priorities. Before moving into development, she served as the Executive Director and Co-founder of WEdia, a start-up nonprofit that connected volunteer filmmakers and journalists with nonprofits around the world in order to spread visibility and awareness for critical issues. Emily received her J.D. from the Vermont Law School and her B.A. from the College of Charleston.

DRwas pleased to work with Emily and the Guardian and is honored to have played a part in their cutting-edge journalistic endeavors.

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DRis pleased to announce the placement of Sara Berman as AccessLex Institute’s Director of Academic Success and Bar Passage Programs.

Founded in 1983 as the Law School Assured Access Program with a mission to provide financial access for students admitted to law schools, today AccessLex Institute has broadened its mission to foster widespread access to quality law schools.  AccessLex achieves this mission through research, policy analysis and advocacy, and direct services to students and schools. The heart of its efforts is the Center for Legal Education Excellence. Through the Center’s programs and services, AccessLex ensures students will be able to successfully apply, be admitted to, and complete their legal education programs. As the high-quality candidate pool for law programs becomes larger and larger, AccessLex is committed to ensuring that all motivated students from any background will have an equal opportunity to become a part of the next generation of legal professionals. A returning client, DRrecently has identified AccessLex’s next Executive Director of the Center for Legal Education Excellence and Director of Programs for Diversity. The Director of Academic Success and Bar Passage Programs would play a key role in ensuring that all students are prepared for law school and beyond.

Sara’s expertise in legal education and success programs made her an ideal match for AccessLex. She previously served as the Director of Critical Skills, Academic Support & Bar Passage at the Shepard Broad College of Law at Nova Southeastern University. Sara has been engaged in legal education and success programs for 19 years, and additionally served as a legal advocate for 8 years. Her extensive working knowledge of the legal field will provide students with valuable insights into their post-education career. Sara received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and her B.A. from UC Santa Barbara.

We wish Sara much success in supporting and educating the future legal professionals of the country.

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DRis pleased to announce that Laura Willumsen will join the Shakespeare Theatre Company as its Senior Director of Development.

Having staged more than 150 innovative, vibrant productions, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is the leading premier classical theatre company in the nation. Focusing on works with profound themes, complex characters, and poetic language—written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries, and the playwrights he influenced—STC expands the classic theatre repertoire in America for all audiences. STC has entertained more than 2.5 million audience members, offered high-impact arts education and community engagement programs, and provided a home for today’s leading classical artists and a training ground for the next generation.

At the Shakespeare Theatre Company, artists and administrators alike share an impassioned respect for the power of artistic excellence to engage, entertain, and enliven audiences—and to forge community among them. Winner of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, and a leading partner in community engagement within the Penn Quarter and Capitol Hill neighborhoods, STC’s quality performances and outreach initiatives require an expansive development department. Its Senior Director of Development would have to not only be a passionate advocate for the arts but also a tireless manager that continuously raises the bar for success.

Both Laura’s experience and attitude made her the perfect match for Shakespeare. She previously served as a Major Gifts Officer for Smithsonian’s Freer & Sackler Galleries of Art, where she secured multiple 6- and 7-figure gifts and most recently led the development team to beat its $6M annual goal by 50% in 2016. Intimately familiar with the arts, her work in performing arts organizations spanned many years, and she served in senior executive positions within the Wheeling Symphony, the Pittsburgh Center for the Performing Arts,  and the Pittsburgh Opera.

We wish both Laura and the Shakespeare Theatre Company success in bringing the performing arts to the DC community.

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DRi congratulates Lieutenant General Robert Ruark and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation for General Ruark’s appointment as MCSF CEO. A 36 year veteran of the Marines, General Ruark will continue his commitment to Marines and their families for the foreseeable future.

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation was established in 1962 to honor Marines by educating their children. MCSF is the oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children, and the only scholarship program awarding 100% of all eligible applicants. In its over 50 year history, it has awarded more than 40,000 scholarships valued at nearly $120 million.

The next MCSF CEO would have to be just as innovative as he/she was dedicated. In the next decade alone, more than 100,000 children of Marines will graduate high school, and face ever-increasing costs of higher education. Applicants have grown more than 5% every year for the past decade, and a potential application growth rate of 7% is expected over the next 5 years. To meet this growing need, the next MCSF CEO would have to lead the development, communications, and events team in marshaling support from every possible opportunity.

From many qualified and impressive candidates, General Ruark emerged as the candidate who’s leadership, innovation, and passion would expertly guide the Foundation during this critical time. He most recently served as the Military Director to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. In this role, he oversaw a global staff of over 32,000 civilians, military personnel, and contractors. This role, along with General Ruark’s service as Director of Logistics for the Joint Staff and US Central Command, gave him an unmatched mastery of operational functions that the MCSF CEO would need to provide overall strategic guidance to the Foundation’s staff and finances. General Ruark received his B.S. from Miami University and his Masters of Military Studies from the Marine Corps University.

DRwas proud to work with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and is eager to see the impact that General Ruark and the Foundation have on military families across the country.

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DRis happy to announce the placement of Tyler Kalogeros-Treschuk as World Food Program-USA’s Director of Individual Giving. As WFP-USA Director of Individual Giving, Tyler will play a significant role in helping millions of hungry individuals around the world.

A returning clientWorld Food Program USA supports the work of the World Food Programme and its global mission to alleviate hunger. One out of nine people in the world suffer from global hunger, and food insecurity’s destabilizing effects can multiply human suffering exponentially. To combat this, the World Food Programme provides about 80 million people located in 80 countries around the world with food and nutritional assistance every year. A mission with such a large global reach requires robust support. Contributing $20 million annually, WFP USA has played a critical role in the effort to alleviate global hunger. It possesses a diverse foundation of support, and utilizes individual giving, corporate giving, and special events. Additionally, it has utilized partnerships with businesses, the U.S. government, and ordinary Americans. The WFP-USA Director of Individual Giving would have to be a proven relationship builder who could effectively communicate WFP-USA’s mission to major donors.

Tyler’s experience and personality made him the ideal choice for this position. Holding development positions for the entirety of his professional career, he most recently served as the Deputy Director of Development for Food & Water Watch. Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all, and through this Tyler was acutely aware of the food scarcity that millions around the world face. He was experienced in communicating this message to donors, and was more than capable of delivering this message at WFP-USA. He previously served as the Director of Philanthropy and Communications at the Charitable Aid Foundation of America, where he regularly interacted with high-profile Fortune 500 companies. This experience would be invaluable as he communicates the mission of WFP-USA to high-worth major donors. Tyler received his B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park, and his M.B.A. from the University of Maryland, University College.

DRiWaterstone was pleased to work with World Food Program-USA  again and wish both Tyler and WFP luck in their future work.

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DRwas pleased to work with Year Up and identify Jeanette Cotter as its next Senior Director of Philanthropy of the National Capital Region.

A returning client, DR has worked with Year Up to improve their fundraising capacity and regional teams many times before, vital necessities for an organization such as Year Up. Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their full potential through professional careers and higher education. Through an intensive one-year training program that provides low income students with a combination of hands-on skill development, college credit, and corporate internships, Year Up ensures students have the structure and guidance to succeed.

The need for Year Up’s services are high. Operating in 16 locations across the country, the Washington, D.C. area provides a high concentration of donors and prospects. The Senior Director of Philanthropy of the National Capital Region would be required to engage and deepen relationships with a number of committed donors who seek to empower young adults. The donors in the DC area would play a key role in completing Year Up’s $100 million capital campaign that began in 2015.

It was clear that Jeanette would be more than capable of taking on the Senior Director of Philanthropy role. She had ample experience in development for youth organizations, serving as the Director of Development for District of Columbia College Access Program and as the Director of Foundation and Government Relations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. Her record of engaging high-profile donors and forging deep working partnerships would be critical for Year Up as it seeks to expand its services to students. At the Boys & Girls Clubs, Jeanette tripled the number of foundation and government pipeline prospects, and she engaged major partners such as the Carnegie Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Boeing Company, and Capital One. Jeannette earned her B.B.A. and her M.B.A. at American Intercontinental University.

We wish Jeanette and Year Up luck in closing the Opportunity Divide for good.


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DRis happy to announce the placement of Mike Cather as Chief Development Officer of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. As MCSF CDO, Mike will play a key role is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children.

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation was established in 1962 to honor Marines by educating their children. It has awarded 40,000 scholarships valued at nearly $120 million in its over 50 year history, and has delivered impact far beyond tuition assistance. More than 90% of MCSF scholarship recipients graduate or are on track to do so, a rate at twice the national average. Many earn earn degrees in science, technology, engineering, math, and health science fields, leaving them poised to make significant contributions in fields critical to the military, to their communities, and to the nation.

The Foundation is the only scholarship program awarding 100% of all eligible applicants. In the next decade alone, more than 100,000 children of Marines will graduate high school, and the cost of higher education will only increase further. The next MCSF CDO would need to manage all aspects of a $19M development program and continuously identify and capitalize on opportunities for growth to meet growing student need.

It was apparent to DRthat Mike possessed all the qualities needed for the next MCSF CDO. He possessed 24 years of development experience, including 15 within higher-education institutions, and clearly understood the challenges and opportunities for students pursuing college degrees. Additionally, he was a development professional within the United States Naval Academy Foundation for 8 years, and was well-versed in representing the interests and needs of United States military personnel. Mike received his B.S. from Towson State University and his M.S. from the University of Maryland, University College.

It was a pleasure to work with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and Mike, and we wish them luck in supporting our nation’s most esteemed families.

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