Shai Panjwani is a consultant in Spencer Stuart’s Stamford and New York offices and a core member of the Education and Social Impact Practice. After starting her career with Deutsche Bank in India, Shai quickly transitioned to executive search and spent the next 15 years recruiting C-suite and senior financial services executives in Hong Kong, London, Singapore, Frankfurt, Warsaw and Toronto. Since moving to New York in 2015, she has worked at the nexus of education, social impact and business by focusing on searches for senior leaders of colleges and universities, science- and research-based institutions, foundations and other non-profit organizations.


  • President, provost and dean searches for research universities
  • Senior financial, operating and human resources officers for higher education, foundations, independent research institutions and other nonprofit organizations
  • CEO and board searches for global nonprofit and research organizations

Recent Experience

  • Leading searches for chief operating officers, chief financial officers, chief people officers and other administrative leaders on behalf of higher education institutions and prestigious nonprofit organizations, including Rockefeller University, Amherst College, Simons Foundation, the American College of Surgeons and Brookings Institution
  • Advising on multiple presidential, provost and dean searches at leading universities, including University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University and Columbia University
  • Recruiting and assessing candidates for CEO and COO roles for influential foundations, think tanks and nonprofits such as the Ford Foundation, National Resources Defense Council, New York Public Radio, Sesame Workshop and UNICEF USA
  • Assisting science- and research-focused organizations such as the Carnegie Institution for Science, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New York Genome Center and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with searches for operational and administrative leaders


Shai is a graduate of the University of Bombay, where she earned a Bachelor of Commerce and an M.B.A. in finance. She speaks English and Hindi.

Practice Areas