Executive Search

Berkeley Executive Search main picture

Berkeley Executive Search is the internal executive search service at the University of California, Berkeley. Our goal is to search, identify, and present qualified and diverse candidates to our senior leadership and hiring authorities. We partner and advise, and we work diligently and with integrity and service-focus.


About Berkeley Executive Search

Berkeley Executive Search (BES) is an executive search program that began at the University of California, Berkeley. As employees of the University of California, our goal is to contribute to the higher education missions of teaching, research, and public service, which are shaped by discovery and knowledge advancement. We are driven by the spirit of California entrepreneurship and the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Senior executives and leaders in higher education have the opportunity to directly impact campus communities and cultures and the effectiveness of their organizations in serving faculty, staff, and students. With that understanding, BES is committed to searching for the right matches between the institution’s current and future critical needs and the people at the specific time of their career and life to contribute to the leadership in serving the campus and missions.

From our background with the University of California, we bring a mixture of: understanding of broad education institutional goals and needs, nuances of higher education organizational structures, and a commitment to the missions, values and access of higher education. We possess experiences and expertise in the opportunities and challenges associated with searching for and recruiting senior level talent for a large, matrixed, research intensive academic campus. We are aware of the importance in building relationships with hiring authority and various stakeholders associated with each search as well as in advising prospective candidates with the navigation of organizational complexities and their career goals. We work to ensure the strategic alignment between the hiring authority and organization with the individual who will bring value and leadership to their team, the organization, and the institution.

As each search is different, we partner and collaborate with executives, hiring teams and search committees with diverse perspectives to understand the function, the critical business needs, and the desired outcome and impact for the ideal candidate(s). We engage with hiring authorities and their stakeholders to learn how best to partner & provide support. We research and learn about the organization and position, advise on the role and the search strategy, conduct extensive nationwide outreach to broaden the pool, and manage the complex process steps to strive for alignment among the search participants for a positive and successful outcome. We work to include excellence and diversity in each of our searches. We understand complex higher education structures and its challenges and opportunities. We have demonstrated successes in filling various senior level and challenging searches. 

Please contact Alex Gomez, Director of Talent Acquisition, regarding Berkeley Executive Search at agomez@berkeley.edu.


About the Team

James Kao picture

James Kao

James Kao, Executive Search Manager, is a Cal alum and possesses a Masters in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins in London. James joined UC Berkeley Talent Acquisition Team in 2015. At Berkeley, James has successfully partnered with committees and project managed searches for various departments, cross-functions, project teams, and reorganizations. James took on executive searches where he advises campus executives and recruits for senior-level staff roles. Before coming back to Berkeley, James was part of the management team in visitor services at MoMA in New York where he oversaw lobby operations/administration and developed & managed staffing proposals for special curatorial projects.

 

 

Harrison Chan photo

Harrison Chan

Harrison Chan, Executive Search Associate, is a Cal alum and returned to his alma mater after some time in the technology sector as an operations professional in San Francisco. Harrison returned to UC Berkeley to join the Talent Acquisition team in late 2017 and transitioned to Executive Search shortly after. In his role, he provides direct support to the executive search function with administrative, research, and sourcing activities, as well as partnering on searches with the Executive Search Manager. Harrison also supports recruiting within the Finance and Administration divisions on campus, including the Controller's Office and portions of the VCA's immediate office.

 

Woman with long dark hair and glasses smiles at the cameraTracey Frink

Tracey Frink, Executive Search Research Associate, started working in the People & Culture department at UC Berkeley in 2019, shortly after she joined the Berkeley Executive Search team. She received her BA in Anthropology from UCLA. Tracey provides administrative and research support to the Executive Search Team. Prior to joining BES, Tracey worked for a labor employment law firm in the Bay Area providing administrative support to firm attorneys and the firm administrator.

 



Yahaira Maldonado PhotoYahaira Maldonado

Yahaira Maldonado, Talent Acquisition Manager, with over 15 years of HR experience in different areas of HR. She holds an MA in Labor Relations and a BA in Human Resources from the University of Puerto Rico. She has been with UC Berkeley for 5 years. Currently, she supports Executive search and manages the Talent Acquisition team that services 94% of the University recruitment needs.

 



Headshot of person with short black hair smiling at the camera, the background is light pinkAlex Gomez

Alex Gomez, Director of Talent Acquisition, is a Cal alum. He has been at UC Berkeley for 17 years, moving from student to administration. Alex received his BA in Anthropology, and since graduating has been working in the recruitment and talent acquisition space. Alex was the inaugural recruitment supervisor when Shared Services at Berkeley was established and built the team as well as processes from scratch. He sponsored the creation of BES in partnership with HR leadership. He is passionate about bringing in talent to support the missions of Berkeley in teaching, research, and public service.