The Center for Leadership Insight


The Center for Leadership Insight (CLI) exists to further Russell Reynolds Associates’ mission to improve the way the world is led. It forms the cornerstone of the firm’s analysis of evolving business issues and their leadership implications.

The CLI combines analysis of proprietary and secondary data assets with RRA’s unparalleled relationships with senior leaders around the world and the expertise of our consultants.

Our position and methodology enable us to bridge the gap between big picture trends and what they mean for the people that must lead their organizations through them.

Current research themes include sustainable leadership, generating advantage through technology, diversity, equity and inclusion, organizational culture, and the future of leadership.


Meet the team



Tom Handcock  location

Tom leads the Center for Leadership Insight. In addition to the CLI’s overall agenda, he is responsible for the CLI’s future of leadership research stream, which focuses on the dynamics that shape effective leadership, and tracks how leadership profiles, behaviors, and expectations evolve.

In partnership with the United Nations Global Compact, Tom led a study of 55 pioneering leaders that have embedded sustainability into the core of their business strategies.  The resulting Sustainable Leader model is a critical component of how RRA advises clients to think about senior executive placements and next-generation talent development.

Prior, Tom spent three years leading Russell Reynolds’ Global Knowledge Management function, which focuses on supporting our consultants with analysis about markets, industries, and clients.

Tom has deep expertise in social and organizational research and began his career as a quantitative researcher at CEB, now part of Gartner. He specialized in the talent management space, contributing to and leading numerous studies on labor market dynamics, learning and leadership development, and leadership effectiveness. During his 14 years at CEB and Gartner, Tom led various global research and advisory businesses and served as an advisor to key clients, as a keynote speaker, and as a facilitator of C-level roundtable discussions.

Tom holds a BSc in Sociology from the University of Bath and an MSc in Social Research Methods from Trinity College Dublin.



Gabrielle Lieberman  

Gabrielle leads the Center for Leadership Insight’s primary research initiatives that sharpen the firm’s understanding of critical issues affecting leadership. In addition, she uses her expertise in content creation to develop compelling deliverables that support CLI’s ability to be advisory with clients.

Gabrielle spent nearly a decade leading the trends and social media research teams at Mintel International, focusing on how demographic and macroeconomic shifts impact consumer behavior. She regularly advised executives on how to use research to make more informed business decisions about product assortments, uncover new opportunities, and identify shifts in the marketplace. She most recently spent time at a technology startup focused on helping women stay active in the workforce, where she uncovered insights on topics related to DE&I, parental leave, and childcare accessibility to support organizations in driving meaningful changes in their workplaces.

Gabrielle is also a trained journalist, having started her career in newsrooms, so she has a keen understanding of how important storytelling is to learning, and how stories are one of the most powerful ways we can influence, connect, and teach. She also serves as an adjunct instructor at the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago where she teaches research methodologies to graduate and undergraduate students.

Gabrielle holds a MS in Journalism from Northwestern University and a BS in Fashion Marketing from Woodbury University.



Leah Christianson  location

Leah is the Center for Leadership Insight’s managing editor, providing editorial input across the CLI's research workstreams and supporting the entire firm’s thought leadership catalog. Additionally, Leah leads our research and content creation on organizational culture and the future of work, exploring topics like leadership confidence and motivation, equitable representation at the C-level, and the firm’s bespoke culture imaging approach.

Formerly, Leah was a member of RRA’s Consumer Technology practice, where she developed search strategy, supported client relationships, and assessed marketplace, product, fintech, and marketing talent.

Prior to joining the firm, she taught creative and business writing courses at Miami University and served as the editor-in-chief of Oxford Magazine.  Leah began her career at a healthcare management consultancy, where she specialized in knowledge management and strategic process improvement, developing holistic learning programs on proprietary software for payer and provider clients. With experience in journalism, management consulting, executive search, and education, Leah understands that effective storytelling transcends industry and is crucial to developing our understanding of the world. She continued to publish and teach writing courses with institutions nationwide.

Leah received her BA in English and Political Science from UCLA, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Miami University.



Joy Tan

Joy looks after the CLI’s technology and innovation research stream, which focuses on understanding what differentiates the leaders and organizations who harness technology for sustained competitive advantage.  This includes assessing the “digital mindset” and other leadership behaviors and cultural attributes that are necessary to drive transformative innovation.  Joy also contributes to research across other themes, including the future of work.

Formerly, Joy was a Knowledge Consultant in the firm’s Healthcare sector, where she supported our market facing consultants in the development and implementation of their go-to-market strategy.

Prior to joining Russell Reynolds, Joy conducted clinical research at the University of Pennsylvania's medical centers and worked at the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s Malaria Elimination Team in South Africa.

Joy received her BA in Biological Basis of Behavior with a minor in English from the University of Pennsylvania, and her MPH in Epidemiology and Global Health from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.



Beth Hawley

Beth works on the Center for Leadership Insight’s big primary research projects applying her quantitative research and analytics expertise.

Beth also leads the CLI’s sustainability research stream, which focuses on how organizations can advance sustainability outcomes by developing sustainable leadership acumen within their leadership teams. Recent work includes a global survey of sustainability leaders that looks at their experience setting and enabling the sustainability agenda.

Beth is an industrial/organizational psychologist by training, and prior to joining Russell Reynolds, she spent 8 years working for small, mid and large-scale businesses both public and private, in a variety of industrial/organizational roles.

She specializes in organizational development and strategy, data analysis and statistics. She has also built and led executive trainings and designed large-scale performance feedback systems and trainings.

Beth received her BS with honors in Psychology from Westminster College, and her MA in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.



Ela Buczynska

Ela works on the Center for Leadership Insight’s primary research initiatives applying her qualitative and quantitative expertise. Her work focuses on exploring critical issues affecting leadership and creating compelling datasets and deliverables that support our ability to be advisory with clients.

Prior to join Russell Reynolds, Ela spent several years designing and managing research projects at C+R Research, a market research company. Her work included designing and deploying surveys, analyzing data, identifying key insights, and presenting results to clients. She regularly worked on multi-phase and hybrid methodologies incorporating both qualitative and quantitative insights into deliverables. In addition, she contributed to training on best practices around data visualization or information design and helped develop standards for data quality in survey design.

Ela received her BSc in Business with a major in Marketing and Economics from DePaul University, and her MA in Applied Cultural Analysis from Lund University in Sweden.