Ponneh Varho leads Spencer Stuart’s Washington, D.C. office and is a member of the Education & Social Impact Practice. Ponneh has over 15 years of executive search experience and has led searches for college and university presidents, provosts, deans, with a particular focus on both chief equity officers and chief financial and administrative officers and as well as a broad range of other functional leaders. Her commitment to continuous learning underpins her client-focused approach to leadership consulting in higher education. She takes pride in her ability to build relationships and frequently works with university presidents and boards to build out their leadership teams.

Client-focused advisor with capacity for intellectual rigor

  • Before joining Spencer Stuart, Ponneh led the Washington, D.C., office of a national executive search firm, where she was a member of the company’s executive committee, an inaugural co-chair of the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiative, a member of the equity task force, and a member of the promotions committee.
  • Ponneh began her career as a lawyer, focusing on intellectual property law.

Ponneh earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia, and she received a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. She also received a master’s degree in higher education administration from Harvard University.

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