Melinda Leonardo has a decade of experience assisting executive searches for higher education institutions including presidential and vice presidential searches for small, private colleges and universities. 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, shoot-out preparation for the consultant team, 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. During her tenure, the consultant team grew from 11 consultants to 33. Over the last few years, Dr. Leonardo has served as a teaching assistant in the Communication department at North Carolina State University while pursuing her doctorate in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media. She simultaneously interned with American Support (Cary, NC) conducting research and analysis for the Leadership Academy and executive council. Dr. Leonardo graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Alma College (Alma, MI) and received the Master of Arts in Organizational Communication from George Mason University (Fairfax, VA). Her Ph.D. focusing on organizational conflict management, mediation training, and the transfer of trained skills is from North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC). A native of Midland, Michigan, Ms. Leonardo resides in Raleigh, NC with her husband and their three young sons.