Search Firm: Isaacson Miller
Ernest Brooks, Partner
Ernest’s practice as an executive search consultant is informed by the diversity of his leadership experiences spanning a broad range of mission driven institutions. Ernest has successfully recruited chief executive, c-suite, and senior functional senior leaders for organizations across sectors including higher education, social justice and advocacy, K-12 education and youth development, faith-related organizations, and philanthropy/collective impact. Representative clients include Colby College (Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life); Equal Opportunity Schools (President & CEO); NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund (Marshall-Motley Scholars Program Director); Stony Brook University (President; Chief Diversity Officer); and Tufts University (University Chaplain).
Prior to joining Isaacson, Miller, Ernest served as President and CEO of Academy of Preachers, Inc., a national ecumenical professional development organization for clergy affiliated with the Lilly Endowment. Ernest previously served as Special Assistant to the CEO of The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, was a Higher Education Fellow for Graduate Diversity Initiatives at the University of Chicago and Assistant Dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College, among other roles.
A passionate advocate for effective social-sector leadership, Ernest has served on governance and advisory boards for several national and local organizations including Interfaith Community Initiatives, Southern Initiative Algebra Project, Rural School and Community Trust, and Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society. Additionally, Ernest has led consulting engagements with numerous organizations in the areas of mission and vision development, strategic planning, program design and launch, organizational governance, and change management.
Keight Tucker Kennedy, Partner
A member of our team since 2014, Keight brings diverse experience in nonprofit and higher education organizations to her practice. She has worked on several presidential searches, including Spelman College, Hamilton College, Converse College, Duke University, Johnson C. Smith University, and Elizabeth City State University. Additionally, she has played a key role on several student affairs searches at The Ohio State University, Washington University in St. Louis, Princeton, MIT, and Cornell. As a search consultant, Keight has worked with historically black colleges and universities, women’s colleges, and K-12 education and advocacy organizations. Repeat work with top-tier research universities proves her skill in identifying an organization’s core challenges and finding the candidate whose skills can help solve them. Her clients also appreciate her ability to view searches through the lens of strategic change, a skill she learned managing strategy and organization development projects for federal agencies.
Keight is passionate about supporting mission-driven organizations through her work as a search consultant and knows the importance of strong leadership in strengthening civil society. Additionally, Keight is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated which provides opportunities to give back to her community in meaningful ways
Shalini Uppu, Senior Associate
Shalini Uppu joined Isaacson, Miller as Senior Associate in 2022. Prior to joining the firm, she was director of enrollment at Duke University’s School of the Environment. Before Duke, Shalini served as director of admission at Reed College in Portland, OR. In both roles, she was responsible for developing and executing the overall recruitment strategy for the school. Her admissions career also includes work at Connecticut College, UChicago, and Whitman College, where she led various technology initiatives, multicultural programming, and office operations. Shalini has presented at multiple national conferences on topics from CRM implementation to reaching under-represented students in rural communities. In her spare time, Shalini is an amateur magician, an even more amateur tennis player, and enjoys any type of live music.