William McKinnon

William combines deep executive search experience with 25 years of experience building and leading firms to find world-class general counsel candidates for listed and private equity-owned companies.


William McKinnon leads the Americas’ legal, risk, and compliance practice at Russell Reynolds Associates. He has an extensive record of building and leading business-to-business firms, developing growth cultures, and driving geographic expansion.

William was a key leader at The Advisory Board Company and Corporate Executive Board for 17 years, serving for 10 years as a member of the executive leadership team and helping guide the company from inception to more than 2,000 employees. The company grew exponentially and had one of the most successful IPOs of the late 1990s. Along with that experience, William later served for 10 years on the executive leadership team at Axiom Law, a leading provider of legal services to Fortune 500 companies, prior to its successful sale to Permira, a UK PE firm.

"Leadership is lifting a person's vision to high sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations." —Peter Drucker

William graduated cum laude from Duke University with a BA in economics and public policy.
William is a founding board member and past chairman of JUST TRYAN IT, helping families with children battling pediatric cancer.
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