Sarah Van Steenburg is a consultant based in the Washington, D.C. office who specializes in both leadership advisory and executive search work. She works across industry sectors on a mix of c-suite, general counsel and board of director engagements. A long-time yogi, painter and writer, she is a creative and strategic thinker who is particularly adept at working with purpose-led organizations that seek to not only be profitable enterprises, but also place their people and culture front and center in their business strategy.

Sarah is a trusted advisor who believes deeply in the transformational power of culture in business. She is a community builder, convener and connector and has a particular passion for diversity, equity and inclusion, bringing that lens and experience to her work. She partners with her clients to provide a thoughtful, holistic approach to their leadership questions and needs.

Sarah actively cultivates relationships with outside organizations that focus on diverse communities, speaks on panels, organizes convening events to create bridges between these communities, and leads an internal enterprise-wide forum to highlight top diverse executives to continue to move the diversity needle within the c-suite.

Trusted connector and community builder

  • Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Sarah spent more than a decade as a managing director at an international legal search firm where she advised clients on industry and talent management trends, strategic hiring and succession planning, and provided candidates with holistic coaching and guidance. She co-led a managing partners forum where law firm leadership and executives shared best management and culture-creating practices. Sarah also developed a particular expertise working with senior-level government officials from a broad range of regulatory agencies and the White House.
  • Sarah has a long a track record as a leader and expert in the DE&I space. She was a founding member of her previous firm’s Diversity Council and she chaired its African American Employee Resource Group. In 2014, she founded the Women of Color (WOC), a group for mid-to-senior career women of color attorneys to create a supportive, uplifting intersectional community with the goal of increasing representation among women of color in leadership positions.

Sarah received a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law. She is board secretary for The Cradle, a 100-year-old nonprofit adoption agency based in Chicago.

Practice Areas