Montana State University

Montana State University Alumni Foundation selects Witt/Kieffer to lead search for new president and chief executive officer

April 29, 2014

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The Montana State University Alumni Foundation announced the selection of national executive search firm Witt/Kieffer to lead the recruitment of the organization’s new president and chief executive officer.

Consultant Jennifer Biehn and Senior Associate Mercedes Vance will lead the search for Witt/Kieffer, the nation’s top executive search firm known for excellence in higher education and not-for-profit leadership advancement.

“Montana State University is in the midst of never-before seen growth, unparalleled alumni engagement and historic philanthropic giving. It’s an exciting time to be a part of campus and we look forward to finding a leader to energize and inspire our staff, alumni and friends to see MSU to the next level and beyond,” said Kitty Saylor, 1982 alumna and interim MSU Alumni Foundation CEO and president.

“The MSU Alumni Foundation keeps alumni connected to Montana State through the Alumni Association, raises private financial support for MSU and serves as the steward for more than $180 million dollars in invested resources,” said Witt/Kieffer’s Biehn. “The president and CEO of the Alumni Foundation will be an experienced fundraiser, take a collaborative approach to leadership and both develop and execute strategic plans.”

MSU, which is composed of nine academic colleges and a graduate school, has a national and international reputation for excellence in undergraduate and graduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, agriculture, architecture, education, engineering, health and human development and nursing. The new president and CEO of the Alumni Foundation will provide visionary leadership for the organization by working with the organization’s board of governors, its senior executive team and campus leaders to establish and implement the strategic direction of the organization.  

While there is no set timeline for the search, the MSU Alumni Foundation and Witt/Kieffer are already working to identify qualified candidates for the role.

Please forward inquiries and nominations for the position to


Information about Witt/Kieffer:

Witt/Kieffer is the preeminent executive search firm that identifies outstanding leadership solutions for organizations committed to improving the quality of life. We are among the nation’s top executive search firms specializing in healthcare, higher education, life sciences, board services and not-for-profit industries. We have 45 years of experience in executive recruiting for C-suite leaders in the nation’s most prestigious not-for-profit organizations, universities, hospitals and health systems. Personalized service and connecting with each client’s vision, structure and leadership needs throughout the executive recruiting process are our hallmarks.

Information about the Montana State University Alumni Foundation:

The MSU Alumni Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) or private nonprofit corporation with three subsidiary entities that serve one mission: "We create lifelong relationships and strengthen our resources to advance Montana State University." The MSU Alumni Association is a membership body that keeps graduates and friends of our University connected to one another and to their Alma Mater. The MSU Foundation raises significant private financial support and serves as the steward for more than $180 million dollars in invested resources from many generous donors. And the MSU Innovation Campus offers powerful opportunities for partners to invest in a creative, entrepreneurial environment that offers state of the art facilities, supports start-up companies, and provides students with hands on learning experiences that can result in employment opportunities upon graduation.