Ilene H. Nagel, PhD, MLS

Ilene H. Nagel is President of Education Executives, LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in the search for AAU and research university presidents, provosts, and deans, as well as the search for senior leaders of distinguished scientific organizations. In addition to the search for university presidents (e.g., for Johns Hopkins, MIT, the University of Michigan, Emory, Case Western Reserve, GW, The Ohio State University), provosts (e.g., for UT Austin, UVA,) and deans for schools of engineering, (e.g., for Harvard, Duke, UT Austin) business, (e.g., for Emory Goizueta, UT Austin McCombs), law, (e.g., for Northwestern, UT Austin), arts and sciences (e.g., for Penn, UCSD, Duke, Hopkins), Ilene has led the search for the VP for Health Sciences and/or Dean of Medicine for Hopkins, Stanford, UCLA, the University of Michigan, Harvard, Emory, UVA, Brown, UT Southwestern, UAB, among others, as well as a variety of chair searches for academic medical centers (e.g., for pediatrics, neurosurgery, orthopedics, medicine), and the search for the CEO of the hospital systems for Stanford and for UCLA.

Previous Experience

From 2005–2017, Ilene served as the Global Leader of the Higher Education Practice for Russell Reynolds Associates, an internationally renowned executive search firm; her clients included Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Lehigh, USC, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania, NYU, Johns Hopkins, Duke, Tulane, Georgetown, Washington University, Brown, Emory, UCLA, UVA, UCSD, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, UT Austin, the University of Minnesota, and a host of others, including, but not limited to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Smithsonian, the Moore Foundation, and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Before becoming a search consultant, Ilene had more than 30 years’ experience as an academic, with professorial appointments in several AAU research universities. Most recently, Ilene served as the Executive Vice Chancellor (chief academic officer) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before joining the University of California, Ilene was Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Provost for Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. Previously, she was on the law faculty at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she was a tenured Full Professor, with a joint appointment in the College of Arts and Sciences. During her 20+ year tenure at Indiana University, Ilene took several leaves of absence to accept a variety of visiting faculty appointments at Yale Law School, Cambridge University, Columbia University School of Law, and George Washington University’s National Law Center. During her academic career, Ilene's research focused on statistical models of judicial decision making, with a particular emphasis on sentencing, on modeling prosecutorial discretion, on sentencing decisions for corporate and individual federal white-collar offenders, and on bail decisions for state defendants.

Additionally, she published research on validity and reliability issues, particularly as they related to evaluative research methodology, as well as research related to the empirical study of class action litigation.

In addition to her academic appointments, Ilene was nominated by the President, and confirmed by the United States Senate to serve a 6-year term in the federal judiciary, as a Member of the United States Sentencing Commission. She ultimately served for 9 years, full time, from 1985–1994, under three United States presidents, while retaining her faculty appointments on a part-time basis.


Ilene received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Hunter College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. She did a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota, and received her Master’s of Legal Studies from Stanford Law School. She was a Guggenheim Fellow at Yale Law School, a Visiting Scholar at the Bellagio Conference Center in Italy, and a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University.


Ilene served as a corporate board member of Strada Education Network, an Indiana-based Higher Education company, and presently serves as an Emeritus Trustee of Strada. She serves as well as a member of the Board of CGS (the Celerian Group), a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. In addition, Ilene served for several terms on the Board of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and on the Board of Santa Barbara Visiting Nurse and Hospice Association. She is a past and now honorary member of the Board of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and a prior member of the Alfred University Board of Trustees. She is also presently serving as a Board member of the Cape Ann Museum and the Birnam Wood Golf Club.

Ilene resides in Montecito, California with her two labradoodles. She and her late husband Aristides Burton Demetrios, a graduate of Harvard University and a renowned contemporary sculptor, have been Montecito residents for over a decade.

Ilene H. Nagel