Sarah Dirksen joined AGB Search in 2023. She brings with her 20 years of experience building the leadership capacity of governing boards. Ms. Dirksen’s areas of expertise include governance best practices, creative problem-solving, coaching and performance management, group process and facilitation, and strategic communication. She has presented on approaches for aligning boards and presidents, successful practices for public presidential searches, and effective annual planning processes at national conferences of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

Most recently, she served as Deputy Director and Associate Secretary to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, which oversees a 68,000-student, five-campus system with a flagship in the Twin Cities. For over a decade in this systemwide leadership role, she planned and executed searches for senior leaders, including president, interim president and chief auditor, and advised the board on a wide variety of issues and challenges across today’s dynamic higher education landscape. Previously, Ms. Dirksen led strategic initiatives and board governance for the League of Minnesota Cities, a statewide association of nearly 850 city governments. In other roles, she managed constituent services for the Minnesota Department of Revenue and directed the research and communications functions for a customer relationship management consulting firm later acquired by Personnel Decisions International.

Ms. Dirksen also served as a Policy Fellow through the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The Policy Fellows program is built on core values of bipartisanship, inclusiveness, and seeking “common good” solutions to public sector challenges.


  • B.S. degree in News-Editorial Journalism from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Completing her M.S. in Organizational Leadership at the University of Colorado Boulder