February 12, 2024
"Although I have known Doug for well over a decade, I only recently had the pleasure of working with him directly on a CFO search for Episcopal High School. Doug and his team are consummate professionals, and work towards the best interests of both the candidate and the institution. They have deep relationships throughout the country, and are incredibly discerning and insightful about the schools and personalities that they represent. Culture and fit are very important to Doug, which shows in his commitment to making the match between candidate and school work. This is what separates Doug and Deerfield Associates from other search firms, and the reason that they are the best in the business. Thanks for all your help Doug!"
February 7, 2024
"I have known Doug for over 15 years. We’ve had many wonderful chats over the years and I’ve seen how thoughtful and hard-working he is on behalf of both his client schools and candidates. He builds strong relationships and always seeks to make a great fit for both parties. When I entered the CFO search at Trinity, I knew he would represent me well and that I would get honest feedback from Doug throughout the process."
January 9, 2024
"I worked with Doug Cooney and Deerfield Associates last spring when we were hiring a Director of Advancement. Doug and his team were terrific partners in the search. They identified a highly qualified candidate pool that represented a wide range of experience and expertise, and the team was incredibly helpful in structuring the interview process and visit schedule. Doug was very accessible to me throughout the entire process, and I very much appreciated his guidance and expertise. We are absolutely thrilled with our Director of Advancement!"
January 9, 2024
Thank you so much for the support that you provided to Berkeley Carroll during our Director of Advancement search. You and the team were consummate professionals, sharing observations and guidance with insight and grace. Your expensive knowledge of the field, coupled with your understanding of our school, made for an efficient process that was targeted yet thorough. I appreciate tremendously the extent to which you remained in touch, deftly managing the search from initial consultation through to completion. It was a great pleasure working with you once more.
December 19, 2023
"I’ve had the pleasure of working with Doug Cooney and Deerfield Associates for three critical positions here at St. Andrew’s School. Two years ago, we needed to find a chief advancement officer, and as a new head of school, Doug was my first call. We successfully completed that search and hired Ann Wardwell.
A year later, our current search for a CFO is coming to a close and I continue to be impressed by Doug’s, and his team’s, attention to detail in both getting to know his candidates, and making sure he understands the needs of his client. Doug remained at the ready as we communicated throughout the process, helping all participants feel informed and being certain that all questions and concerns were addressed.
Prior to our CFO search kicking off, I contacted Doug regarding the need for an interim CFO. Doug immediately thought of a past placement who he’d remained in close contact with and put me in touch with her. As a result of that introduction, I hired Maria Kimsey as interim CFO while our search for a full-time CFO search was underway. It speaks to Doug’s personable nature and his care for the people he’s placed that he has such a large network of highly qualified professionals to reach out to in times of need. Doug, and Deerfield Associates, will always be a part of our team."
October 11, 2023
"I have worked with Doug Cooney twice in my long career. Once as he was searching for a boarding school's next permanent CFO (Mercersburg Academy, Pennsylvania in 2005) when Doug placed me with a wonderful head of school, Doug Hale. After 18 years at Mercersburg, when I was leaving headed towards retirement, Doug called me again and this time introduced me to Joy McGrath, head of School, St. Andrew’s School, Middletown, Delaware. So, the second opportunity was at St. Andrew’s School where I currently serve as the interim CFO. During both experiences, Doug was the ultimate professional. He understands the importance of making sure that the match between an organization and a job candidate are in sync and more importantly, that if they are not, there could be a failure in the hire. In my case, Doug made sure that I understood the culture and expectations of the institutions while also understanding my goals and expectations for my next "right" job. The outcomes of both searches with me were terrific."
September 23, 2023
"I first met Doug in 2011 at the Mayflower Hotel mezzanine for coffee. It was a get-to-know-you conversation, and we have remained in touch ever since. Somehow in that 30-minute or so conversation, Doug got me. He picked up on my approach, my style, my strengths and I suspect areas for growth as an advancement professional. And over time, he would check in and on occasion share a job with me that he thought I might be interested in. When the Grace Church School Director of Advancement role, became available, and we worked together, I was thrilled. Because I was sure, that Doug could accurately represent me as a candidate, genuinely understand why I wanted the role, and understand why I could be a good fit for the School. Doug has loads of experience, and a vast network, but he also has heart and a deep curiosity that keeps him at the top of the field."
May 23, 2023
"Doug and his talented team at Deerfield Associates did an outstanding job managing our recent search for an Associate Vice President of Development at Marist College. They took the time and care to get to know Marist and understand the dynamics of our Advancement organization. I was especially impressed with the extensive personal outreach they extended to hundreds of prospective candidates from their deep national network. Their proactive, targeted efforts helped build an exceptionally strong applicant pool for this important leadership role that ultimately led to the hiring of an ideal candidate who is now on board and already making a meaningful impact. Doug’s deep experience and highly tailored approach was a perfect fit for Marist. I sincerely hope that we’ll have an opportunity to collaborate again on future searches."
May 18, 2023
I want to thank you and your team for your tremendously thorough and "high touch" approach in working with Williston for our successful CFO search. True to form, as you have been in past searches for the school, your hands-on approach and thoughtful give-and-take with the stakeholders has resulted in a terrific outcome and match for Williston. The information provided at each step of the process was timely and relevant, and you showed your experience and reach in the multitude of candidates that you provided. Well done!"
May 18, 2023
"I have worked with Doug Cooney and Deerfield Associates for two recent senior-level and critical administrative searches, having just finished a CFO search in what is the most competitive CFO hiring market in recent memory. I called Doug immediately for this search because we were so happy with the service he and Deerfield Associates provided on our earlier Director of Advancement search, several years ago, which resulted in a long-term placement and an exceptionally good fit.
The level of service and professionalism that Doug and his team have provided for us has been truly exceptional. In my experience, they have a talent for identifying and cultivating extremely qualified candidates who were not necessarily engaged in a search. Additionally, Doug and his team have demonstrated an extremely high level of competence in vetting potential candidates based on the very specific needs and expectations of the institution they are serving. They really get to know the school and they really get to know the candidates, and this results in placements with a high likelihood of success for both school and administrator.
For any future senior administrative searches... Doug Cooney will be my first and only call."
February 5, 2023
"Working with Doug and his colleagues made a somewhat daunting, ill-timed search for a director of development manageable, smooth, and even a bit exciting. Working together, we moved quickly but deliberately, and he and his team assembled a pool of talented, experienced candidates with diverse profiles. Whenever I needed to think through a question during the search, Doug made himself available, and he coached me wisely through my first-ever development search as a head of school. Though I hope not to have a similar hiring need anytime soon, I know whom I'll call if I do."
September 30, 2022
"I have known Doug for over a decade and have had the good fortune to have worked with him and his talented team on both sides of the search. His knowledge of the market and counsel are second to none, as is his commitment to finding the perfect fit . His colleagues at Deerfield Associates were intelligent, diligent, and thorough and managed every element of the search beautifully and in a timely manner. My Head of School and I trusted Doug implicitly in his guidance and, in turn, we landed an exceptional candidate we never would have recruited on our own."
September 25, 2022
Olivia Powell, PhD has been appointed as the new Senior Director of Major Gifts for Viewpoint School located in Calabasas, California. Olivia shared, “After 18 glorious and transformative years in New York, earning a PhD, working in a major Museum and forging a career in advancement, most recently with Columbia University, I’m excited to return to southern California to join Viewpoint School.” Doug Cooney added, “It was an honor and a privilege to work on this search with Maureen Nash, Assistant Head of School for External Affairs and Mark McKee, Head of School on such an important assignment. Olivia is an exceptional advancement professional, on many levels, and we are delighted to have played a small role in facilitating this significant hire for Viewpoint.” Mark McKee added, “Thank you, again, Doug, for such a positive process and such a successful outcome.”
July 12, 2022
"Doug and his team were a true joy to work with on our search for a new Chief Financial Officer. Their thoroughness both in getting to know us and in getting to know the candidates was remarkable. Doug personally spent a day on-campus getting to know our staff and Trustees. They worked hard to understand the idiosyncrasies of our community and culture, and vetted the candidates with unparalleled rigor. Everyone who participated in this process from our community was deeply impressed with the quality of their work, their attention to detail, and their genuine desire to help us fill the position with the best possible candidate."
July 1, 2022
"I am pleased to share that after a national search, George School has hired Patricia O’Neill as our new Director of Marketing and Communications. Tricia comes to George School from The Peddie School, where she has been a member of the Marketing and Communications team since 2008, most recently serving as Assistant Director for Web Strategy and Communications. I want to acknowledge and thank Doug Cooney and his colleagues at Deerfield Associates, who served as our consultants during this important search."
"I have known Doug Cooney and worked with Deerfield Associates for over ten years, and Doug always presents compelling candidates, but this time, helping me to find the right CFO/COO for Vermont Academy, he and his team knocked it out of the park. How did they do this? They spent time getting to know our school, our strategic plan, our location, and our needs. That immersion was a team effort, and they even met with board and administrative leaders to make sure that they were focused on what a good fit would look like for all. Doug and his team made so many calls and solicited some individuals who were not looking but who were open to discussing opportunities, and that is how we found Matt Emsley. Matt had extensive experience in business and recently at a national land trust. His deep love of the outdoors, his interests in real estate and creating his own business, combined with the fact that he grew up at a boarding school meant that this job at Vermont Academy connected with his passions. Matt's desire to be in a place that would enable him to enjoy and immerse in nature while also creating a focused, efficient system in delivering the Vermont Academy program influenced his decision to come to Saxtons River. He was in some ways an "out of the box" candidate with the right elements for a great chemistry with the Vermont Academy team. In Matt, I will have someone who can, as COO, help to keep each office on track while also being a great sounding board for strategy, as CFO, with our assistant head, the board and me. Doug Cooney, you know how to make things happen, and you are tenacious about tracking down the right candidate and closing the deal. Thanks to the team at Deerfield Associates!"
"We are so delighted to have Andrew Gagnon, Director of Finance & Operations, on board. I wanted to thank you and your team’s hard work for we ended up with exceptional candidates. Thank you for all your work on this process, your regular communication, and that of your entire team. You have made what can be a challenging process a very smooth one from our end. Please know that you will always be high on our list if we ever need to fill other positions."
May 25, 2022
"Doug Cooney has played a major role in my career as a development professional. We first met in 2008 and have stayed connected as Doug is great at building and maintaining his professional network. I honestly believe no one knows the search business better than Doug and I doubt anyone puts more time and energy into searches than him. Doug makes it a point to really get the know the school, the leadership, and the culture when takes on a school client. At the same time, he spends a great deal of time finding strong candidates who are truly good fits professionally and culturally for his client schools. Doug and his team at Deerfield Associates recently presented me with a great opportunity and was by my side throughout the process as the search was somewhat complicated. As always, I listened to his advice, trusted his perspective, and landed a fabulous job that is a great fit for me. Thank you, Doug!"
March 17, 2022
I am excited to announce the appointment of Ann Wardwell as St. Andrew’s chief advancement officer. As chief advancement officer, Ann will lead the school’s Advancement Office, will manage and oversee all aspects of the school’s fundraising activities and constituent relations, and will work closely with the board of trustees, alumni, parents, faculty, and leadership in setting and accomplishing the school’s strategic fundraising goals.
Ann brings St. Andrew’s a wealth of experience in advancement leadership, strategic planning, organizational development, and marketing and communications. She currently serves as the chief advancement officer at Hong Kong International School in Hong Kong, China, where she has lived and worked since 2019. Prior to joining HKIS, Ann served as chief advancement officer at Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts; director of advancement at Governor’s Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts; and director of development at Choate Rosemary Hall. Earlier in her career, Ann held various fundraising and management positions at the Children’s Hospital of Boston, American Express, and Marriott.
Ann was identified as St. Andrew’s next advancement leader from a field of outstanding candidates in an exhaustive international search conducted by Doug Cooney and the search firm Deerfield Associates. I am very grateful to the advancement team, faculty, and leadership who were involved in this search process, and I am delighted that Ann’s appointment has resulted from their hard work."
March 15, 2022
"Smith College hired Doug Cooney and Deerfield Associates to conduct a search for a Director of Sponsored Research and Grants. It was a pleasure working with Doug and his team. I felt that there were as invested in the success of our search as I was as the hiring manager. The team brought us an outstanding pool of applicants and made our final decision a very difficult choice between two excellent individuals. Finally, Doug gets to know each candidate and was very helpful in ensuring that our offer was accepted by our top choice."
February 24, 2022
"I am delighted to announce that Thomas ‘Tom’ Stanton will be joining our school community in the coming school year as its Chief Financial Officer. Tom has spent the past 17 years as Chief Financial Officer at The Buckley School. Prior to that, Tom served as Director of Finance at City & Country School, and earlier in his career, he worked at Merrill Lynch and at Prep for Prep. Tom is graduate of Yale University with a B.A. in economics. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who participated in our search efforts, especially the CFO search advisory group members. I also want to thank Doug Cooney and his team at Deerfield Associates for their invaluable work recruiting strong candidates and communicating the distinctive appeal of Trinity School."
"Doug and his team are top-notch and I have never worked with a placement team who knew their clients - both the organization and the recruits - so well. I was placed in a CHRO role by Deerfield Associates and while I was not actively looking for a new role, Doug’s enthusiasm and persistence in ensuring my match to the new organization drove my excitement for the opportunity. Doug and Mahsa Naini took their time in getting to know me and my skill set, but especially who I was as a professional and what was important to me in my next role. I could not be more appreciative to Doug for connecting me to my current position, manager and team."
"Doug and the Deerfield team approach each search with the utmost care and consideration for perfect matches. Their research, recruitment, and reference checking processes are best in class and beyond compare with other firms. Doug invests himself in the success of each placement and guides school leaders as a strategic advisor, placing people into roles that allow both the individual and the organization to thrive."
"After nearly five months of unsuccessfully leading our own internal search for a Director of Institutional Advancement, we enlisted Deerfield Associates and they immediately centralized all communications and outreach. Our efforts to proactively recruit or expand our candidate pool were almost immediately eclipsed by Doug who did not slow down for the subsequent four months, until we had completed the hiring of our ideal candidate. We are extremely grateful to Deerfield Associates and even more excited about the outstanding candidate they have helped us to hire."
April 3, 2021
"The Academy hired Deerfield Associates to conduct the search for a new CFO. This was one of the most effective -- and speedy -- searches for a major position that I have been involved in as a Head of School, and Doug led the process skillfully from top to bottom: working with me to flesh out the position description, reaching out to and vetting hundreds of candidates, helping develop a deep and diverse, pool of qualified semi-finalists from a range of institutions (sitting independent school CFO's, CFOs of leading non-profits, candidates from higher education) and a short list of exceptional finalists. Doug was in touch often, always available whenever I called, worked beautifully with candidates and was instrumental in helping us land our top candidate (Matthew Sheehy/Williams College) offering advice and perspective every step of the way."
April 5, 2021
"I am thankful and appreciative of the Deerfield Associates team for their approach to how they conduct candidate searches and support their clients. As a candidate in the search process, I always felt that the process was honest and demonstrated care. Doug Cooney and team not only have the client in mind but the candidates as well. The process of contemplating a career change is exciting and stressful. I felt at every turn during the search process that I could reach out to Doug and team to get insight, perspective, and an honest assessment. Having Deerfield Associates involved in the process made the entire experience and decision making process less stressful, extremely transparent, and enjoyable."
"Williston Northampton has been pleased to work with Deerfield Associates many times throughout the years, most recently for our Director of Advancement search. Doug Cooney and his team at Deerfield Associates can always be relied on for their professional, thoughtful, and persistent approach to finding the right match between the candidate and our team. I always appreciate their responsiveness and depth of communication throughout the entire process. Doug takes the time to understand my objectives at the outset, laying the groundwork for a successful search at the end. His high-value and responsive approach saves me time, identifies a pool of quality candidates, and allows me to focus on making the right hiring decision for the institution. I'm grateful to Doug and everyone at Deerfield Associates for their comprehensive approach and quality work."
"My experience with Deerfield Associates has been exceptional. When Mahsa Naini first reached out to me about an opportunity as Director of Marketing & Communications at the Elisabeth Morrow School, I had no prior knowledge of the school or the position. In my initial conversation with Mahsa, I was impressed with how well she understood the organization and spoke passionately about its mission and leadership, and with how thoughtfully she conveyed why it might be an excellent fit. Mahsa and Doug Cooney were incredibly responsive to any questions I had and stayed in frequent contact throughout the interview and hiring process, often speaking on nights and weekends to work around my schedule. Importantly, they provided consistent guidance and support to ensure that both their client and candidate found the best match in one another. I cannot recommend them highly enough."
"Finding myself out of a job in the wake of Covid-19, I came across a very appealing search being led by Deerfield Associates. With a "why not?" attitude, I contacted the search firm even though the job was in Connecticut and I had never lived anywhere other than the west coast.
Doug Cooney and the Deerfield team provided a thoughtful, thorough, and personalized experience that was respectful of my time and circumstance. They established the value of the opportunity to build a first-rate marketing communications program for Kent School. I am especially grateful for how Doug talked me through a great deal of uncertainty to help me visualize life in New England as it became clear the position was a great fit."
"Doug Cooney did multiple searches for me at several institutions in advancement and in finance and administration. I met Doug early in my career when I worked in the Advancement Office at Mount Holyoke College and later as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Franklin & Marshall University and most recently as President of Lebanon Valley College. I engaged Deerfield Associates each time because Doug was so successful in finding great candidates. Doug took the time to understand the institution, in particular its culture and the impact the position could have. Before each search, he spent time with me, on campus, and in speaking with senior colleagues. When screening candidates, Doug could communicate the scope, goals, and importance of the position. The result was that our first conversation with a candidate was at a much deeper level of understanding. This was significant for the search, for the attractiveness of the position, but also in setting expectations for the successful candidate."
May 11, 2020
When we started our search for a Director of Institutional Advancement at BU Academy, we knew that this would be an exciting opportunity for an entrepreneurial leader -- a self-started eager to build the program, lead a small, motivated team, and partner with me to shape the future of the school. Our biggest concern was making sure that the position description got in front of the right people. Doug Cooney and the team at Deerfield Associates brought us candidates we would have never seen had we listed the position on our own. From our first conversation, Doug was a real partner; he took the time to understand who we are, to think through the profile that would be right for us, and to crystalize what would make the opportunity so exciting to the right candidate. And then he and his team went to work -- activating their network, reaching out to more than fifty potential candidates across the country, and sending along only those folks that best fit the bill. In my conversations with the candidates, it was so clear that Doug had prepared them well -- they knew us and had already begun to picture themselves on our team. And whenever I had a question, Doug was quick to pick up the phone. It's hard to imagine better service and a better partner.
"Doug Cooney at Deerfield Associates conducted Madeira's search for a CFO. He couldn¹t have done a better job. Doug had a special connection to Madeira, as our founder, Lucy Madeira, attended Vassar College, where he got his start. His professionalism, personal attention, willingness to continue the search until we found the perfect fit resulted in a strong array of candidates, and most importantly, the best fit for Madeira. We are a stronger school because of our CFO, and I have Doug to thank for that."
"After pouring literally a hundred hours into a CFO search that did not result in a successful hire, I sought advice from colleagues on the best firm to conduct a retained search. The answer I heard over and over again: Doug Cooney and Deerfield Associates. After meeting Doug, I quickly realized why: he brings extensive experience and contacts in the industry, an incredibly organized and effective process, and unparalleled customer support. Our process unfolded exactly as Doug explained, as he presented a highly selective group of accomplished, vetted, and interested candidates for our consideration, and then guided us during the interview process. Throughout, Doug advised me personally, kept me apprised of our candidates' status and interest, and helped me develop a relationship with the person who ultimately accepted our position. Deerfield's service was worth every penny and I would certainly recommend them to others."
"Doug Cooney and I have known each other for over 8 years and I can’t say enough good things about him, his work, his keen intuition for both client needs and candidate fit and of course his attention to detail.
Doug has placed me twice (once in New York City, and then in New England). I have worked with him to find top tier candidates for organizations I worked for several times. As the person sitting on both sides of the equation I can say, without hesitation, that he takes care of his clients and his candidates with the utmost attention and pride.
It is with strong enthusiasm and without hesitation that I recommend Doug and his search firm for your senior administrative placement needs."
"Vassar set a high bar for recruiting a new Director of Annual Giving, and Doug Cooney (Deerfield Associates) and his team more than rose to the challenge. We were looking for a strong manager, with vision, creativity, and expertise in the digital space. I really appreciated Doug’s no-stone-unturned approach, the tremendous dedication, and the great partnership. A win!"
"In 2015, when I served as the Head of School at The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York, we hired Doug Cooney and Deerfield Associates to conduct a search for a CFO. We were very pleased throughout the search process as well as with the outcome.
In 2019 I joined The Elisabeth Morrow School in Englewood, New Jersey as the new Head of School. Upon my joining EMS I immediately hired Doug Cooney and Deerfield Associates to conduct and complete searches for a Chief Financial Officer and a Senior Director of Institutional Advancement. Each search was completed most successfully with accomplished professionals in each important role. Additionally, in 2020, we retained Deerfield Associates to conduct new additional searches this time for a Director of Enrollment Management and a Director of Marketing & Communications. Again, both searches were most successful in identifying and landing talented professionals for key positions!
The firms deep experience and networks were vital in our successful recruitment of very strong candidates for all the positions. From the first visit interviewing with me and the day spent on each campus interviewing key members of the community, it is clear that they also understand the importance of culture and fit in finding the right person to fill this critical role. The profiles created by Deerfield Associates for each search showed a detailed and nuanced understanding of the complexity and finer elements of the job as well as an appreciation of the unique culture and strengths of The Masters School and The Elisabeth Morrow School. There is a real sense of partnership throughout. Doug Cooney is more than a search consultant; professional, and sensitive throughout, he serves as a wise and respectful guide and coach in the process of narrowing down our search and refining our thinking about who would best succeed and grow in each position. He shows the right sense of urgency, checking in and nudging me along to stick to the ambitious time line we’d set ourselves with each search. As a result, we were successful in filling key searches in important and high visibility positions in a timely manner.
The in-depth research Doug and his colleagues conduct on the candidates is superior, and the write-ups they provide from reference checks on each candidate is extremely helpful. I also appreciate the professional way in which Deerfield Associates handles all communications, including their sensitivity in working with those finalists still waiting in the wings as we work on closing the deal with our number one choice for each search.
Doug Cooney is exactly what he represents; a true talent agent personality who is a strategic and experienced recruiting business partner for the hiring Head of School, and who also cares for the candidates whom he and his firm presents for each search."
"It was really a pleasure working with Deerfield Associates throughout the process leading to my being selected as the new director of advancement at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York. From my earliest introductions to the firm as a candidate discussing the opportunity with Mahsa Naini it was clear they had my best interests at heart and wanted to ensure that it would be an appropriate fit for both me and the institution. In moving forward and navigating the process with Doug Cooney, I felt I had both an advocate and counselor on my side. His years of experience and knowledge of the school culture served me well and I’m sure it was likewise from the side of the school’s leadership. While I’m extremely fortunate to have been chosen for the role, I also gained some insight into the executive search process and learned a lot about myself throughout the various stages. Having had such a pleasant experience and knowing their value as a candidate for a position, I wouldn't hesitate working with them on future recruitment as an employer."
"Deerfield Associates assisted Exeter recently in an international search for a Director of Alumni Relations. Their efforts were exhaustive, and the pool of candidates in the final round was extraordinary. At every step in the process, Doug Cooney kept us informed about the outreach they were doing, both to candidates and to references. They screened candidates for us, saving a great deal of time, and conducted in-depth interviews with references. For such an important search, it was helpful to have the context of a broad pool of candidates. Doug knows everyone! Best of all, he provided important counsel and guidance along the way.
I can’t recommend Deerfield Associates highly enough – they are professional, thorough and efficient. They exceeded my expectations at every turn."
December 31, 2019
I've known and worked with Doug Cooney for over 20 years as chief advancement officer at St. Lawrence University and Scripps College, and now as Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at Bowdoin College. Two years ago he placed me in this role at Bowdoin, one of eight placements he's made for Bowdoin over the years. My experience with Doug and his colleagues at Deerfield Associates is that they have been extraordinarily professional, responsive to our specific needs in a given search, and dedicated to completing each search with a successful outcome. I hired Doug to complete an essential leadership gifts officer search since he placed me in 2017, for our ongoing development and campaign work in San Francisco. Doug delivered on another excellent hire. I recommend Deerfield Associates enthusiastically and without reservation.
I cannot say enough good things about the team at Deerfield Associates and the outstanding job they did helping us find and hire our Director of Institutional Advancement. Relationships are at the heart of any great school community and Doug, Susan, and the Deerfield Associates team clearly live by that in all that they do. From the very beginning, they took the time to understand the needs we had as a school community, offered helpful guidance about the process, and then set out to develop a pool of incredibly talented candidates. Deerfield Associates not only did the "heavy lifting," providing the most thoughtful, thorough background work we have received from any search firm, but they anticipated all of the details that go into helping a school finding and bringing on board the very best fit - which is exactly what they did for us. We are incredibly grateful to Deerfield Associates for an exceptional search experience from an outstanding team."
"When The Browning School sought assistance in its search for a new Chief Advancement Officer, my colleagues at other independent schools enthusiastically recommended Doug Cooney and Deerfield Associates. It did not take me long to recognize the reasons for such endorsements, as Doug and his team immediately distinguished themselves with their commitment to learning our school’s culture and specific needs, building a pool of talented and mission-appropriate candidates, and communicating regularly about the contours and cadences of the search. Doug understands the many different needs that vie for space in independent school advancement offices, and demonstrated real skill and imagination in presenting candidates whose talents and interests would align with the particular opportunities at our school. He also expressed a level of interpersonal care and concern that humanizes the search process for all involved, which is so important for institutions founded on relationships. I was delighted to work with and learn from Doug, and would recommend him and Deerfield Associates without reservation."
"My family and I could not be happier to join the remarkable community at Greens Farms Academy. Throughout the well-paced search process, Doug was always accessible, providing valuable counsel, feedback, and support at every turn. I have known Doug for over a decade and have been consistently impressed with his excellent judgement, deep empathy, and highly collaborative approach. I admire his discipline to keep countless friendships in good repair and his commitment to serve the best interests of his clients and candidates. It was an absolute privilege to work with Doug and his outstanding colleagues at Deerfield Associates. They have my abiding admiration and gratitude and my highest recommendation."
November 21, 2019
“I am so grateful to have been introduced to Doug Cooney, and Deerfield Associates, by a mutual friend from my days of working back at Yale University. It was a true delight to get to know Doug and Mahsa Naini throughout the search process for the Director of Institutional Advancement at St. Andrew’s School. Doug provided extraordinary guidance and support throughout the search, and keenly understood the importance of getting to know me and valuing the right “fit” for this position within a school community. It is only because of Doug that I was introduced to an incredible professional opportunity in a place ideal for my family. I have met many search professionals in my 25-year career, and Doug is one of the best I have ever known.”
Fifteen years and eight successful searches later…. I suppose that alone speaks to our confidence in your work, your professionalism, and the value you bring to the search process. The superior quality and level of those we have hired (Controller, Assoc. Dir of Leadership Gifts, Director of Annual Giving, Assoc. VP for Development, etc.) as a result of your efforts has truly been “priceless.” Personally, it is always a pleasure! Thanks to you and your team for this latest round of exceptional talent!
With best regards,
"I would like to thank Deerfield Associates, in particular Mr. Doug Cooney for being a friend and advisor of sorts to me in my professional development. I was very fortunate to have met Doug a handful of years ago through a mutual friend.
From our first conversation, which I believe was one of introduction of how I might be able to introduce Doug to other relationship builders/fundraisers turned to a mutually beneficial relationship in which he has helped me grow in my career through providing advice and wisdom. Thanks to Doug for staying in touch over the years and truly getting to know me not just as a professional, but a person.
Doug and his team were able to provide me and my family with a life-long career opportunity. To return to a secondary school institution, The Taft School, with a mission and core values I espouse to develop the “whole student” by being guided by honesty, respect & kindness, high achievement and serving others. This opportunity came about solely from Doug knowing who I am as a person and professional, and at the same time understanding Taft’s needs within its Alumni & Development Office and fuller community.
In the advancement profession I’ve met many of Doug’s colleagues within the executive search industry. Doug is someone who truly wants to make the “right fit” for his clients (school and candidate). Doug’s ability to be successful, I believe, comes from his passion and love of making great educational institutions even greater. Doug is a sincere and honest person who wants to do the right thing. Deerfield Associates thank you for assisting me, as well as many others across the United States and world in discovering our professional home."
"Working with Deerfield Associates, as a new Head of School, on finding a new Head of Advancement was a fantastic experience. Doug guided me personally on finding the perfect fit for our school in this vitally important role. Your relentless dedication to turning every stone and digging deep into every conversation was the secret to the success we were able to achieve with this search. I am still filled with excitement about Ann joining our team, as is everyone at Emma! I am incredibly grateful to Doug for the endless hours, e-mails and calls that we had to get to this point. It was all worth it! I really believe we have found an exceptional Advancement leader and perfect fit in Ann – truly could not be happier. THANK YOU!"
September 6, 2018
"Working with Doug Cooney and his team from Deerfield Associates has been an amazing experience. Doug is an experienced professional who truly understands the executive search world, as well as being very well versed in all things related to higher education (advancement, enrollment, and finance). I have worked with search firms before. However, Deerfield Associates truly goes above and beyond. They do more than just get to know their applicants, they truly care about putting the right people in the right environment so that both parties thrive. Doug and his team are very responsive, often working early in the morning or well into the evening - the level of dedication that the team has to their craft is inspiring. Working with Doug and the team at Deerfield Associates was a rewarding experience, and deep down, they turn a stressful process into an enjoyable experience.
Doug: thank you again for your confidence in me - I hope our paths continue to cross, and please if you ever need a reference for an enrollment job, or something that I may be able to help with please contact me.
All the best!"
I hope the start of the academic year is going well for you.
I wanted to thank you once again for your professionalism, time, effort, interest and support over the past few years. As always, I valued your help in getting Meredith VanDuyne (Director of Advancement) from Minnesota to us here at Flint Hill School in Virginia a year ago.
We also deeply appreciated your willingness to brainstorm with Anne Peterson (CFO), Meredith and myself as we thought through the creation of a new role here at Flint Hill this time for a Director of Signature Programs. I thought that it was once again a thorough and strategic search knowing full well that the title and aspects of the position seemed out of the ordinary. You were always there as a partner and a valuable member of our 'leadership team'.
And then, your ability to step in and help make a difference in helping us find and recruit Leslie Hutchins to come to as the Director of Development was equally impressive. Again, it gave proof of the incredible job that you and Deerfield Associates do every day.
Again, thank you for everything that you do. You provide far more than a search agency; you are supportive, caring, thoughtful, and a reflective educator in your own right. It comes through in the type of people you and your team talks to and engages with throughout this process. For that, we will be forever grateful.
If you ever have a client who is looking to talk to a reference, please don't hesitate to send them our way! They would only hear wonderful compliments about you and your entire team.
"Thank you, Doug!
I couldn't have asked for a more smoothly-run, professional process. And to think that three months ago Mount Holyoke College wasn't even on my radar!!
Now I'm looking forward to it avidly. Thank you for all that you and your search firm have done to encourage me to explore this wonderful opportunity!"
"We reached out to Deerfield Associates because we were told by another search firm: “We are happy to do your search, but if you want the best in the business, why don’t you call Doug Cooney?” We took that consultant’s advice and went with Deerfield Associates for two searches; our Executive Director of Advancement search and our Annual Fund Director search. I could not have been more pleased with the way the searches were handled. First, the proactive way Doug and his colleagues proactively reached out to a national cross section of candidates was most impressive. Second, they prioritized getting the right match; and finally the recommendations and reference checks were spot on and very helpful. All of you did a superb job working with us and making two great hires possible. In particular, your follow up, attention to detail, and communication was truly exemplary. They were an outstanding team and a pleasure to work with."
"Nightingale has enlisted Doug Cooney and Deerfield Associates for both our CFO and Director of Institutional Advancement search. In both cases Doug presented a deep pool and he thought long and hard about which candidates would serve our school's particular need at a given moment. If there is a rock to be turned he will find it. He also supported our school by keeping us on track in our search. A Head of School is pulled in many directions at any one given time. Doug understands this as well as any consultant I know. He is tireless in his efforts and is immensely respectful of the candidates he recruits, and the school that he supports. I was proud to have him representing Nightingale."
"I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Deerfield Associates. As a candidate, you understand that the client is the school, but it’s so refreshing to work with a firm who takes the time to learn about your needs and interests in a way that supports a great outcome for both the school and candidate. Throughout the process, Doug offered coaching – which was terrific since I’m not a candidate very often! His sense of humor, directness, caring, and industry knowledge made it a pleasure to work with him and his team. He was clearly deeply committed to his client. Because of the time Doug must have taken to really get to know the school I felt sure I understood the hopes and dreams of the school and its leadership – an ideal position to be in when starting a new job. As I make the move from Minnesota to Virginia I am very excited to have worked with Deerfield Associates on this great professional opportunity. If I’m in the position to hire a search firm, they would be at the top of my list."
"To Whom It May Concern,
It was a personal and professional pleasure to work with Deerfield Associates again. Throughout our search for a new Director of Advancement, Deerfield Associates was a standout for clarity of process, depth of candidate pool, and thoroughness of placement from start to finish. Of particular highlight was the extraordinary care taken in understanding both the significance of school culture and the match with the candidate pool. Both the candidates and the school were extremely well served by the thoughtfulness and skill of Deerfield Associates. We have retained Deerfield in the past for other searches; Director of Major Gifts (2015), Director of Advancement (2011), Campaign Director (2011) and Chief Financial Officer (2011 and 2008). They have my highest of recommendations."
"Working with Doug and Deerfield Associates was tremendously rewarding to find our new Chief Financial Officer, not just for the outcome but perhaps even more, for the process. To say that Doug is attentive to detail is an understatement and it gently pushes schools to do the same. Most important, he truly extends himself to the people involved in the search process and the benefits to the school as a result of his efforts are tangible. First, he gets to know the school inside out and as part of that, he gets to know all of the key stake holders. On the candidate side, the process can be unnerving and Doug kept them engaged throughout and feeling positively about us so that by the time we were ready to choose, we were fortunate to have a number of strong finalists. Our candidate of choice was in higher education in the mid-west, a truly national search. Now a few months out, we are thrilled with the partnership that has already emerged with the successful candidate and feel that Deerfield Associates is a resource to which we will return when the need arises."
"As a general rule of thumb, I don't write testimonials for consultants, but with Deerfield Associates, I gladly make an exception to that rule. Over a period of years, Mercersburg Academy has secured the services of Doug Cooney and Deerfield Associates for three separate high level searches: Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations, Assistant Head of School for Advancement, and Assistant Head of School for Enrollment. In all three instances, I could not have been more satisfied with the approach taken toward these searches; the end results were excellent on all three fronts. The things that most distinguish the firm's work, in my view, are the excellent stable of candidates presented, the personal attention provided both to the school and the candidates, as well as the thorough follow-up on both sides of the equation. I can recommend Deerfield Associates most enthusiastically."
"If you ever want to know how good Doug Cooney is at his job, just call me!! A true professional who really knows the business, Doug is organized and an effective communicator. He fully comprehends both the hiring client needs and that of the candidate. He lets you know where you stand and the next steps. He knows a “good fit” when he sees one."
"Having spent 12 years in this industry, following a 20+ year career in financial services, I have dealt with many search consultants and can unequivocally say the services you and your firm provide are the most professional and of the highest integrity that I have experienced during my career."
"Having interviewed a number of top national search firms, Milton Academy selected and hired Doug Cooney, Principal of Deerfield Associates to conduct a search for a new Chief Advancement Officer. Excellent references from prior clients, as well as Doug's thoughtful and disciplined approach affected our choice. Doug's firm prides itself on seeking out new talent, professionals who are not necessarily engaged in a job search. Deerfield Associates' reputation is providing excellent candidates and conducting a professional and discrete recruitment process.
Doug and his team developed a deep pool of highly qualified and experienced advancement professionals in a timely manner. Doug was most accessible and brought a balanced approach to the search process. I relied on Doug and always felt at the helm of the search. We met and interviewed qualified candidates from around the country and from a variety of well-known institutions including colleges, universities and independent schools. Milton identified and hired the right candidate in Lisa Winick, an accomplished professional at an independent school outside New England. I later learned that for nearly a decade, Doug had known and cultivated Lisa Winick as a candidate.
Doug's search firm reaches far and wide, and among educational institutions, it enjoys respect. Doug presented himself as a talent agent who seeks out the best candidates and the right fit for the school. I am happy with the outcome of our search and can enthusiastically recommend Deerfield Associates."
"I wanted to send a belated thank you for your gentle persistence and thoughtful encouragement regarding the Fessenden search. I would not have pursued it if Susan hadn't continued to reach out to me and, looking back, I am very grateful that you didn't take my no as a no. As they say in fundraising, No is never No, it's just not now :) It was certainly a whirlwind but as I think about the new opportunity, I am excited not only for me but for my family. I am very excited to succeed Elizabeth and build upon the well-run operation that she created. I also look forward to being a part of the senior administrative team and work closely with Dave. As a family, we are also thrilled to join the Fessy community overall. My husband is already asking if we can move on-campus, and my son left his admissions visit last week and went back to his current school and said, "I'm going to a new school next year and there's no girls there." So, now that I've had a moment to reflect, I just wanted to thank you both for what I think will be a great change and new beginning for the "other" Cooneys."
"Doug Cooney is a man of sharp insight and deep integrity. He sincerely cares about his clients and the candidates he presents. He conducts himself with complete professionalism. Having been an unconventional, career changer candidate, I was impressed with how well Doug could articulate and discern the personal qualities and attributes that would lead toward a successful career in education. I trust Doug, value his judgment, and highly recommend his services.”
"Saint Andrew’s School of Boca Raton, Florida recently concluded our search for a new Director of Institutional Advancement and prior to that a search for a new Chief Financial Officer. At the start of the search process we interviewed a handful of search firms and we chose to work with Doug Cooney and Deerfield Associates for both searches. We could not be more pleased with the job that Doug and Deerfield Associates did on our searches. From day one Doug was hands on and directly involved with every aspect of the search. Doug visited the School and spent considerable time getting to know the mission and culture including meeting with senior faculty, staff, trustees and myself. He worked hard to gain a thorough understanding of our institution and specific needs. Deerfield brought us a group of highly qualified candidates for each search and we couldn’t be happier with both the process and the results of each search. It was truly a national and international search effort. Our new Director of Institutional Advancement relocated from Switzerland and our new CFO relocated from New Hampshire. As a new and incoming head of school, I was fortunate to have Doug’s experience, guidance, and expertise in the service of our school. I would recommend that any school undertaking a development and CFO search talk with Doug and his colleagues at Deerfield Associates."