Search Process

As the search for Sweet Briar’s next president gets underway, members of the board are committed to a process that is as inclusive as possible. The board will follow what are considered to be best practices at private colleges. The following milestones provide a broad outline of the search steps.

Search Firm Selection

The Board Executive Committee was charged with identifying candidates for consideration by the full board. First, a Presidential Search Committee was created to lead the process. The next step was to engage Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, an executive search firm specializing in higher education executive recruitment, to assist the Search Committee. Committee members will work closely with Storbeck’s experts to find the best presidential candidates for Sweet Briar.

Search Committee Composition

The board’s objective was to design a Presidential Search Committee that represents of all of the College’s stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students and alumnae. Accordingly, the committee includes:

  • eight board members (six of whom are alumnae)
  • two faculty representatives
  • one staff representative
  • one Alumnae Alliance representative
  • one student representative

The committee works collaboratively on all issues to ensure good progress.

Listening Sessions

The Storbeck consultant conducts extensive listening sessions and interviews with stakeholders — faculty, students, staff, board members and the President’s Council. In addition, an electronic survey is disseminated to the community asking what background, qualities and abilities should characterize Sweet Briar’s next president, and the major issues she or he will confront.

Position Profile

After collecting input from stakeholders, the committee writes a position profile describing the challenges and opportunities facing the College and the qualities desired in the person to move the College forward. Click here for the position profile.


The search firm uses its extensive network of educational and other leaders to solicit nominations and to recruit candidates. Together, the search committee and firm will be recruiting candidates throughout the summer and fall and the committee will begin interviewing in the winter, with the goal of completing the search during the spring semester. The new president will be expected to assume office in the summer of 2017.

Members of the College community are also encouraged to suggest names or make nominations.


Members of the search committee are working diligently to keep the process moving, and they look forward to providing updates as the search develops. In the meantime, all community members are encouraged to share their thoughts and feedback confidentially.