Melissa K. Trotta

Melissa K. Trotta, Ed.D., joined AGB Search as Associate Managing Principal in 2017 with more than 25 years of experience in higher education administration at universities including Georgetown, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins. In 2024, Dr. Trotta was promoted to Associate Managing Principal and Senior Vice President for Client Development. Her previous executive search experience was at Brill Neumann Associates, where she was a Vice President focused on both academic and administrative leadership searches.  She has partnered with a wide array of institutions on searches for presidents, provosts, deans, vice presidents, and a variety of other senior leadership positions, always with an eye to the alignment of the candidate with institutional needs and priorities.

Representative Executive Searches

  • California State University, Chico - President
  • California State University, Sacramento - President
  • Emmanuel College - President
  • Kent State University - Senior Vice President & Provost
  • La Salle University - President
  • Miami Dade College - President
  • Providence College - Dean, School of Arts & Sciences

Experience and Honors

Dr. Trotta’s other clients have included Barry University, Broward College, Bucknell University, the California State University System, Elon University, Emory University, Georgetown University, Guilford College, Indian River State College, Mount Mercy University, Northeastern University, Polk State College, Rockhurst University, Spring Hill College, St. John’s University, Thomas More University, the University of North Carolina, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and many others.

Dr. Trotta has presented as a speaker and panelist at a variety of meetings and conferences of education-related professional organizations, including AGB’s National Conference on Trusteeship, the American Council of Academic Deans’ (ACAD) Annual Meeting, the National Association of College and University Business Officers’ (NACUBO) Annual Meeting, the American Council on Education’s Women’s Leadership Forum, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Higher Education Leadership Conference.

She chaired the Alumni Advisory Board of the Executive Doctorate Program at the University of Pennsylvania and was previously on the executive committee of the Education Alumni Association at Penn’s Graduate School of Education. Dr. Trotta was Co-Chair of the American Council on Education’s Executive Search Roundtable from 2021 until 2023.


  • B.A. in Communications (Phi Beta Kappa) and M.A. in Higher Education Administration, with Distinction, both from Boston College 
  • Ed.D. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania