Executive Search for a New CEO of Jefferson
The highest responsibility and calling of a board of trustees is the selection of a new leader. With keen insight and planning, and long before the announced retirement of Stephen K. Klasko, MD MBA, the board engaged world class experts to assist us in envisioning a search process that would identify the finest talent and bring the most qualified leader to this dynamic organization.
As a Board, we recognize our duty to build upon the incredible Jefferson legacy, and in turn, to recruit a leader who will take our organization to new heights in higher education, research and excellence in clinical care. Consistent with the recommendation of our experts, I have appointed a search committee of trustees, led by Leslie McNamara, Co-Vice Chair of the Jefferson Board of Trustees, who will embrace wide consultation and input from members of the Jefferson family. Jefferson is more than a University and a Health System. Jefferson is a large, complex and dynamic organization that required us to think anew about a search process that would guarantee we attract the right candidates.
As an $8B+ organization with 18 hospitals, two main University campuses with four satellite campuses, numerous strategic partnerships around the world, hundreds of community-based practices, care centers across two states and with over 42,000 employees, Jefferson is all-in on creating the safest and highest quality services, offerings and environments for patients, students, families and our prized employees.
We are all-in on innovation to drive meaningful clinical and academic excellence. We are all-in on partnering with our communities to raise the necessary funds to ensure our primary mission to students and patients. And, we are all-in on reducing racial, ethnic, health and socio-economic disparities.
We have retained Egon Zehnder to manage the recruiting process for this position, and we are requesting that all candidates contact them directly. As an interested candidate or if you would like to suggest a candidate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Egon Zehnder is committed to managing a balanced and professional process. They will communicate with all candidates who contact them. Candidates will be selected for interviews based solely on the qualifications agreed upon by the Search Committee and defined in the Role Specification approved by the Board. This process is the same for external and internal candidates.
A successful search is the top priority for me and all my fellow Trustees. With input from the Jefferson family, we will be successful in recruiting the next leader for Jefferson!
Patricia Wellenbach, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Search Committee Members
CEO Profile in Brief
Jefferson is seeking a mission-oriented senior executive with a successful record of executive leadership in an organization with similar scale and complexity to Jefferson. The ideal candidate will have senior experience in some sector of the health industry and/or higher education. In addition they will bring demonstrated strengths in people leadership, organizational growth, strategy, operations and finance. Egon Zehnder is committed to presenting the search committee candidates from underrepresented groups and those with a diverse set of experiences. The final selection decision will be based upon a balanced assessment of the candidate’s ability to lead Jefferson into the future, engaging and uniting the entire organization around a common vision and strategy.
For further information about the search, please email email@example.com.
New CEO Search FAQs
Q: What is Jefferson looking for in its next CEO?
A: Jefferson is fully committed to finding an outstanding leader who possesses the right combination of experience, interpersonal skills, energy, intellect and vision to serve as the next CEO of Jefferson. The committee understands its charge in ensuring that the next CEO will build upon Jefferson’s history of community service and engagement. Jefferson and its CEO have a mandate to play a leading role in our city and region to bring sustainable solutions to inequity in health care and education, and to serve as a national model for care, education, research and innovation.
Q: What are the three most important competencies and characteristics that Jefferson’s next CEO must possess based upon the position description and the organization’s strategic plan?
A: Jefferson is seeking a mission-oriented senior executive with a successful record of executive leadership in an organization with similar scale and complexity to Jefferson. The ideal candidate will have senior experience in some sector of the health industry and/or higher education. In addition, they will bring demonstrated strengths in people leadership, organizational growth, strategy, operations and finance. Egon Zehnder is committed to presenting to the search committee candidates from underrepresented groups and those with a diverse set of experiences. The final selection decision will be based upon a balanced assessment of the candidate’s ability to lead Jefferson into the future and engage and unite the entire organization around a common vision and strategy.
Q: What is the timeline for selecting a new CEO?
A: We are taking a deliberate approach to its global search to find the best candidate to lead the organization – and balancing that with the eagerness to meet our new leader. The good news is the Board has been thinking already about what qualities a future CEO should possess as demonstrated by our CEO of the Future work before this search even began. This work included a small working group of the Board studying various trends shaping the future of higher education and health care in the context of Jefferson’s strategy and leadership needs. That served as a “jumping off point” for our stakeholder assessment work and fed into the position description. From where we sit today, actively in market, with an executive search of this magnitude and importance, this could take several more months to complete.
In the interim, we are fortunate to have Emeritus Chairman of the Board of Trustees, H. Richard Haverstick, Jr. serving as interim President and CEO since January 1, 2022. Mr. Haverstick has the wholehearted support of Jefferson’s outstanding executive cabinet leadership team, including the clinical and academic leaders Bruce A. Meyer, MD, MBA and Mark L. Tykocinski, MD.
Q: How does the Search Committee function?
A: The Search Committee is chartered with conducting a candidate sourcing, interviewing and selection process that is inclusive, robust and efficient. Our goal is to swiftly find the next, best leader for Jefferson. We also have an enormous responsibility to safeguard the identities of all candidates in the process, ensuring strict confidentiality at every stage of the process.
We meet weekly to discuss organizational needs, design process, and share perspectives on potential candidates. It is an enormous responsibility for all of us and the highest calling or responsibility a board member can execute during their tenure. It’s historic for us, too!
We are also fortunate that Jefferson has retained Egon Zehnder, a global executive search firm with a distinguished history of successfully completed health system and educational institution searches, to help guide this process alongside the search committee.
Q: Why was the search committee only sourced from among the board of trustees?
A: The selection of a CEO is the highest calling and responsibility of a Board of Directors or Trustees. We wrestled early with a desire to both keep the group very focused– ensuring efficiency and tight control of sensitive data – along with the desire to be broad and inclusive of the Jefferson community.
The result was to create a small but diverse representation of Trustees at the committee level coupled with an extremely wide and deep stakeholder assessment process. This allowed us to source feedback from more than 450 stakeholders across the breadth of Jefferson’s constituencies and be in market with a completed profile within 45 days of committee formation.
Looking forward, we will have an additional window to consider how academic and clinical members of the organization can be represented in the interview process.
Q: With the stakeholder assessment stage process completed, what happens next?
A: The stakeholder assessment feedback was immediately put to use in defining the position description or “profile” that the search firm is now using in conversations with potential candidates to screen for mutual fit. These conversations will lead us toward the initial round of interviews with the Search Committee before engaging others to assess our vetted candidates, all within the confidentiality required by this process.
Q: I have a candidate you should consider. Who should I reach out to with their contact information?
A: We appreciate your interest and referral. We have retained Egon Zehnder to manage the recruiting process for this position, and we are requesting that all candidates contact them directly. As an interested candidate or if you would like to suggest a candidate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How will Jefferson stakeholders be kept abreast of the search along the way?
A: We will periodically share updates on the search for our next CEO through a variety of channels. These include the website landing page, as well as updates from the chair of the search committee, Leslie McNamara. However, as you can appreciate, many aspects of the process will be confidential to protect the candidates who are actively engaged.
Q: If I have additional questions about the CEO search, who should I ask?
A: This website will serve as an ongoing resource for individuals interested in the CEO search and will be updated periodically with developments, as appropriate. Questions not addressed on this website may be directed to email@example.com.
The Jefferson Enterprise
As Philadelphia’s second largest employer, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health are over 42,000 people strong - reimagining health, education and discovery to create unparalleled value. With 18 hospitals, 10 colleges, four schools and a rich history that spans nearly 200 years, we are deeply committed to the communities we serve.