Zach Messitte

Leaning on decades of experience in academia, Zach helps identify talent and build leadership teams for non-profit organizations.

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Zach Messitte leverages his extensive expertise in academia to recruit and develop leaders for educational institutions and other non-profit organizations. Based in Washington DC, he brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education and government services.

Prior to joining Russell Reynolds Associates, Zach spent nine years at Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he was the president and a professor of politics and government. Under his leadership, the college had its most successful fundraising campaign in history, developed a new curriculum and the endowment doubled.

Before that, he served as the dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He was also the director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, and a member of the political science faculty at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Prior to entering academia, Zach worked for the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the United Nations, and in journalism. He is the author, editor, and co-author of several books.

Zach serves as the Chair of the Board of Advocates for David Boren College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma and is a member of the Board of Trustees for Beloit College. He also volunteers as part of the executive committee of the Woodley Park Community Association.

“It is not the voice that commands the story; it is the ear.” (Italo Calvino)

Zach holds a PhD in Politics from New York University, an MA in American Foreign Policy and International Economics from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a BA in American History and Italian from Bowdoin College.
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Areas of Expertise

Board Director and Chair Search Board Effectiveness Board of Directors CEO Succession Chief Executive Officers Education Executive Search Social Impact

Get in touch with Zach
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Zach founded “Basketball without Borders” in 2001 while working with the United Nations, a joint project with the National Basketball Association (NBA) that uses sport to bring young people together.