Maya Ranchod Kirkhope
Vice President, Senior Consultant, and Senior Executive Coach
Ms. Maya Ranchod Kirkhope’s understanding of higher education governance is unparalleled in the consulting realm. As an Academic Search Senior Consultant, Vice President of the firm, and Senior Executive Coach whose career is dedicated to improving the inner workings of executive cabinets, Ms. Kirkhope’s breadth of experience is a distinct asset.
Ms. Kirkhope discovered the life-changing prospects a higher education can provide early in life. She was raised in South Africa during the peak of Apartheid, which drastically limited Ms. Kirkhope’s educational and career options. However, she learned about the United States’ study abroad opportunities and was accepted at Ohio Wesleyan University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history and psychology. While living in the heart of America’s Midwest with the freedom she never experienced in South Africa, Ms. Kirkhope gained the deep appreciation for academia, university governance, and the entire college experience that would guide her for the rest of her career.
She went on to earn her master’s degree in education from Columbia University, then worked for the University of Cape Town while living in New York City, fundraising for the esteemed institution. From there, she began a career with the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), a membership organization dedicated to strengthening governing boards and their strategic roles.
Ms. Kirkhope was named director of AGB and oversaw more than 60 consultants across the US. In addition, she was responsible for the leadership, management, and marketing of its Board of Education and Consulting Service. While working closely with presidents and boards of trustees, Ms. Kirkhope became an expert at pinpointing an executive staff’s strengths and fragilities, and identifying ways to build upon and improve them, respectively.
Ms. Kirkhope’s all-encompassing skillset can be applied effectively to colleges and universities of all types, public and private. Her profound love of university governance and determination to help institutions reach their full potential drive her in every search she performs.
While working with a search committee, board of trustees, and hiring committee, Ms. Kirkhope values open communication, honesty, integrity, and clarity. Although she primarily specializes in presidential searches, she enjoys performing searches for all positions and immerses herself in the recruiting process.
Furthermore, she serves as a Senior Executive Coach and is a Gallup-certified coach. Ms. Kirkhope has been active in leadership development initiatives and has worked on various projects supporting women advancing to executive-level positions.