Jett Pihakis

Jett brings deep knowledge of the higher education landscape, and is passionate about advising university clients and search committees.

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Jett Pihakis identifies senior academic and administrative leaders for colleges and universities, with a focus on nationally-ranked research universities and highly-ranked small colleges. Based in Washington D.C., Jett leads the Higher Education Practice for Russell Reynolds Associates, leveraging his more than 15 years of leadership experience at top-ranked research universities. Jett leads high-profile academic searches for university presidents, provosts and deans, as well as searches for functional vice presidents, chief administrative officers and chief information officers.

In recent years, Jett has recruited deans of arts and sciences, engineering, fine arts, business, law, education, architecture, geosciences, public health, pharmacy, dentistry, public policy, social work and communication, amongst others. Jett brings an in-depth knowledge of the higher education market. He previously served as Vice President for Programs at Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a nonprofit that has made groundbreaking progress addressing the dramatic under-representation of Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans in leadership positions at top-tier MBA programs and Fortune 500 companies. He previously served as associate dean of the Full-time MBA Program at Georgetown University. Earlier in his career, he held positions at the University of California at Berkeley and Vanderbilt University.

"I pride myself on serving as a trusted advisor to my clients and candidates, communicating with authenticity, transparency and clarity. Immensely passionate about my work, I have a relentless drive to exceed expectations at every turn."

Jett received his BA, summa cum laude, in psychology from Vanderbilt University and his PhD in education administration and policy analysis with a focus in higher education from Stanford University.
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Areas of Expertise

Education Executive Search Social Impact Technology, Data, and Digital Officers

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Jett serves as co-chair of the American Council on Education’s Executive Search Roundtable. He also volunteers actively with The Posse Foundation, serving as a resume coach, career coach and Dynamic Assessment Process observer.