Recently, Shelly has conducted presidential searches on behalf of Michigan State University and the University of Pittsburgh, and Colorado, Haverford, Skidmore, and Swarthmore colleges. In her career she has conducted more than 500 searches for public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, independent schools, and nonprofit organizations.
Shelly’s prior positions in executive search include: Managing Director of the education practice of A.T. Kearney, an international search and consulting firm; and, senior associate and administrative officer of the education practice at Korn/Ferry International.
Shelly writes, speaks, and consults on issues relating to higher education across the United States. She contributed to a series of seminars and ultimately a book about the liberal arts, Remaking College: Innovation and the Liberal Arts (Johns Hopkins University Press). She currently serves on multiple advisory groups focused on developing leadership in education, including the Aspen Institute.
She has served as chair of the American Council on Education (ACE) Executive Search Roundtable and is a member of the ACE Women’s Network. In 2021, she received the ACE Donna Shavlik Award in recognition of her commitment to advancing women in higher education and ensuring women’s equitable representation across the leadership pipeline.
Prior to entering the search industry, Shelly served as Assistant to the President for Educational Affairs at Haverford College. In that post, she gained experience in all senior administrative searches and chaired Haverford’s Middle States Accreditation Process. Shelly taught English at the Baldwin School (Bryn Mawr, PA) and English and religion at Phillips Academy (Andover, MA). She is a member of the Modern Language Association and is also a former member of the Yale Parents Annual Fund.