Melinda Leonardo

Dr. Melinda Leonardo was appointed Director of Interim Search at AGB Search in January 2020. She leads the interim division in its continued growth serving institutions across sectors in the placement of senior leaders during periods of transition. In addition to her work with the interim division, Dr. Leonardo has over 20 years of experience in executive search for higher education assisting colleges and universities in a broad array of searches, including presidential, vice-presidential, and dean level searches. She continues to coordinate AGB Search’s new consultant orientation for a growing team of over 50 consultants and she has been certified and serves as one of the firm’s behavioral assessment analysts. 

Representative Executive Searches

  • Grand View University (IA) - President
  • Misericordia University (PA) – President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Business, Dean of Arts & Sciences
  • Hanover College (IN), Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Business Affairs 
  • Wake Technical Community College (NC) - President
  • Wells College (NY), Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
  • Wofford College (SC) - Provost
  • Central Piedmont Community College (NC), Vice President for Student Affairs

Experience and Honors

In her previous role as Director of Consulting Services with Academic Search, Inc., Dr. Leonardo was responsible for the firm’s marketing initiatives from initial, prospective client contact, proposal submission in response to client requests, and preparation of the consultant team for face-to-face pitch presentations, to final negotiations of the award of a new search. In addition, Dr. Leonardo worked closely with the consultant team training new consultants on the critical stages of the search process.

In addition to her leadership role with AGB Interim Search and her continued executive search work, Dr. Leonardo also serves as the Coordinator of Programming for the AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance in Higher Education. The AGB Institute is a collaborative venture of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), AGB Search, and Miami University (OH) and is designed to provide exceptional higher education leaders with a pathway to the presidency.

A native of Midland, Michigan, Dr. Leonardo resides in Raleigh, NC with her husband and their three young sons.


  • Bachelor degree in Communication from Alma College (magna cum laude)
  • Master degree in Organizational Communication from George Mason University
  • Doctorate degree from North Carolina State University