Clarke Murphy

Clarke leads milestone board searches and CEO succession plans for Fortune 100 companies and helps develop strong, sustainable leadership teams.


Clarke Murphy is a leadership expert who advises the world's top companies on leadership strategies that fuel profitable growth and value for all stakeholders.

He is a trusted advisor on issues of leadership effectiveness, sustainability, board formation, and succession. He has significant expertise helping boards include sustainable competencies and track record into multi-year CEO succession processes.

As the former CEO of Russell Reynolds from 2011-2021, he spearheaded a purpose-driven approach to business and led the firm through its greatest period of growth. In his new WSJ bestselling book, "Sustainable Leadership: Lessons of Vision, Courage, and Grit from the CEOs Who Dared to Build a Better World," Clarke tells the stories of dynamic business executives who are using their position to solve the most complex social and economic challenges of our time.

Since 2021, Clarke has co-hosted the Redefiners podcast, interviewing courageous leaders who are redefining their organizations—and themselves—to deliver extraordinary results. He is a regular speaker at business schools and headline leadership events, including the United Nations Global Compact Leaders' Summit and the World Economic Forum's Sustainable Development Impact Summit. His insights have also featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, the Economist and Financial Times.

Clarke is a board member of Carnegie Hall and New York City Ballet and a Senior Fellow of the Mission Possible Partnership (MPP), advising MPP in their mission to share information among leaders of the seven hard to abate industries in reducing carbon.

Clarke holds a BA in history from the University of Virginia​.​​​
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Board Director and Chair Search Board Effectiveness CEO Succession Chief Executive Officers C-Suite Succession Executive Search Financial Services Private Capital Sustainability

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Clarke ​is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Carnegie Hall and the New York City Ballet.​