Diane Charness

Managing Partner, Global Nonprofit and Social Impact Practice

With over 25 years of experience consulting mission-based institutions on leadership acquisition and development, Diane serves as Managing Partner of the Global Nonprofit and Social Impact Practice based in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

Diane Charness

+1 202 774 9366


Having served in corporate strategy and human capital roles for a leading university and global corporations, Diane takes a broad view of talent, deploying transformational and multi-cultural leaders who are growth and impact-oriented on behalf of U.S. and international nonprofit, public, and private sector institutions.

Diane is known for her integrity in managing relationships and processes and her focus on elevating women and minority access to opportunity and advancement. She has served 300+ clients and successfully completed more than 1,000 talent assignments in education, healthcare, philanthropy, government, and those advocating for the arts, research, sustainability, and social impact investment. She is a strategic partner to institutions seeking to cross-populate leadership teams who inspire innovation and operational excellence. Diane partners with Boards, founders, and leadership on Board, C-Suite, and management talent selection.

Prior to joining DHR, Diane served as Education, Social Impact, and Nonprofit Practice leader for another global talent advisory firm, as Co-Founder and President of a boutique executive search firm, and as the Director of Recruitment and a Senior Member of the Department of Human Resources at Georgetown University. Diane began her career in strategic planning and marketing with Marriott and ITT. She has been elected to leadership and Board positions for prominent nonprofits in medical research, conservation, and social services.

Diane is recognized as one of the Top 40 Higher Education Recruiters in the U.S. by Hunt Scanlon and was also named to its Nonprofit Top 60 list. She is a recent member of CUPA-HR, CASE, National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, Government Finance Officers Association, SHRM, and the American Marketing Association, and a frequent author on strategic talent management. Diane holds a bachelor’s degree in international politics from Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, a master’s degree in business administration in marketing from George Washington University, and a certificate in talent management from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler School Business School. She is also certified in Hogan’s HPI Personality Assessment and Wiley’s PXT Select Assessment.

Nonprofit, Education & Sports

DHR’s Nonprofit practice is designed to provide talent guidance and support at any level of your business through our executive and emerging leaders search solutions, as well as strategic consulting services. Our mission – “to improve the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations worldwide” – represents the consultative approach and commitment to establishing mutually beneficial long-term relationships with each of our clients.
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DHR advises organizations on how to effectively court, assess, acquire and cultivate diverse talent into their leadership pipeline. Our objective as one of the world’s top executive search firms is to present your company with the best possible pool of candidates in terms of industry expertise, functional knowledge, diversity and organizational fit.
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Executive Search

Exceeding expectations is our culture. We’re committed to recruiting the best executive-level and board-ready talent in the world for you. With our reach, resourcefulness and relationships, we improve your recruiting process and help you better understand the market and competitive landscape.
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