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Susan (Suzy) Cowen Joins Kittleman & Associates as Senior Principal

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

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Contact: Megan Monaco

Susan (Suzy) Cowen Joins Kittleman & Associates as Senior Principal

Chicago, IL (May 2, 2023) — Kittleman & Associates, a national executive search firm specializing in recruiting CEOs for nonprofits throughout the country, has appointed Susan (Suzy) Cowen as Senior Principal. Cowen has over 25 years of executive leadership experience in the nonprofit sector and a passion for and impressive track record of developing strong organizational cultures, succession planning, change management and talent acquisition. She also has a deep background in board recruitment, governance design and stewardship.

In her role as Senior Principal at Kittleman, Cowen will bring her extensive background that includes behavioral health and social services to leading all aspects of executive searches, including strategy, facilitation, client engagement, and recruiting candidates by soliciting the interest of individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds including the nonprofit, business and public sectors.

“We are extremely fortunate to have a professional of Suzy’s caliber joining our firm at this critical time,” said Cory King, President & CEO. “Her extraordinary career as a leader in the national human services community will further Kittleman’s strong position in this sector, and we will benefit greatly from Suzy’s expertise, experience, and networks”.

During her career, Cowen has led many notable Chicago-area organizations including as President and CEO of Kenneth Young Center where she guided the Board and staff through an extensive team building and strategic planning process and overhauled financial and fundraising strategies. As the Executive Director of Family Service of Glencoe, she led the organization into its Centennial year, and as President and CEO of the Illinois Collaboration on Youth, she set forth the vision for a consolidation in statewide associations for children and youth, impacting the lives of thousands of children, youth and their families.

“I am delighted to be returning to Chicagoland to join Kittleman and Associates as a Senior Principal,” said Cowen. “Throughout my career, my professional mission has been to support the health and sustainability of nonprofit organizations through the development of strong leaders and cultures. In joining Kittle-man and Associates, I am thrilled to further this mission alongside the excellent Kittleman Search team. I feel very fortunate to join a team that has a rich history of strengthening the nonprofit sector; in these times, it is vital that nonprofits and their leaders receive ongoing support to ensure lasting success”.

Cowen’s most recent professional endeavors took her to the Monterey Peninsula of California where she led an acquisition and turnaround for the Gateway Foundation in the behavioral health arena. She also served in a leadership role for a hospital system tasked with developing a state-of-the-art, evidence-based center of excellence for behavioral health care for children and adolescents after it received an un-precedented $105 million gift. These efforts have broadened her experience in health care to include substance use disorder treatment and operational leadership within broader health systems.

Cowen currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Sunset Cultural Center in Carmel, California, and has served on various Illinois-based statewide taskforces and committees including an appointment to the Child Welfare Advisory Committee. She is a long-time resident of Chicago while maintaining an active community on the Central Coast of California.
Cowen has an undergraduate degree from Indiana University in law and public policy and a Master of Social Work Administration degree from San Diego State University. She also has completed two years of doctoral coursework in organizational development and design from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois.

Established in 1963, Kittleman is the nation’s first executive search firm exclusively serving nonprofit organizations and institutions. As a full-service retained firm specializing in the recruitment of CEOs for non-profits throughout the country, Kittleman manages all aspects of the search process backed by a team of research, knowledge management and administrative staff. Each search requires a unique recruitment strategy that reflects the distinctive culture of the organization, the specific leadership opportunity and the current professional marketplace.

Search services include experienced recruitment counsel through-out, organizational assessment, development of position specifications, prospect research, source identification, candidate development, background assessment and verification, reference checking, offer preparation and transition assistance.

Celebrating its 60th Anniversary, Kittleman is unrivaled in its combined years of nonprofit search expertise, represented by its extensive experience in human service and community health care; private, family and community foundations; public gardens, arboreta and land preserves; museums, science centers and his-toric sites; national charities and international NGOs; and conservation, environment and wildlife. For more information, visit

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