Sheila Hennessey

Vice President / Senior Search Consultant

“I am inspired by the opportunity to serve as a trusted advisor to mission-driven organizations, and a champion for individuals who dedicate their careers to nonprofit service.”


BS, Earth Sciences, Stanford University

MFA, Classical Acting, The Shakespeare Theater’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University

Sheila Hennessey rejoined Higher Talent as Vice President after co-leading several national searches for the firm as a consulting advisor.  She began her executive search career with the firm in 2010.

Sheila has placed senior executives with prominent nonprofit organizations and universities across the country. In addition to her work with Higher Talent, Sheila has worked as an independent search executive and as a Principal with Koya Leadership Partners, a national executive search and consulting firm that serves mission-driven clients.

Sheila has recruited CEO/Executive Directors, other C-suite executives, and senior fundraising/advancement leadership for clients that include the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Seattle Symphony, American Society of Landscape Architects, Make-A-Wish, KIPP LA Schools, the University of Southern California, Johns Hopkins University, Easter Seals, and the Smithsonian Institution, among many others.

She began her career in management consulting with Bain & Company, transitioned to corporate communications and public relations with Hill & Knowlton, and served as Executive Director of the Downtown Boise Association, a nonprofit focused on urban revitalization.

As a professional actress, Sheila has appeared onstage and in national network television programs including “The Wire” and “Homicide: Life on the Street.” She served as associate producer of the documentary “Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton,” which aired nationally on PBS.

An active community volunteer, Sheila serves on the board of directors of the Idaho Youth Ranch, the Southwest Idaho Regional Council of the Idaho Community Foundation, and the leadership development committee of the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation