Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.



John Isaacson


John Isaacson founded Isaacson, Miller in 1982. He grew up in Maine and was carefully groomed to be a third-generation Maine lawyer and fourth-generation entrepreneur. John was diverted in his twenties by academic and civic engagements, which took him to Dartmouth College for a BA; to the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship for a BA/MA in philosophy, politics, and economics; and to Harvard Law School. Following law school, he chose a career in public service, beginning in the Executive Office of Human Services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He was employed as the state's Recruiter for Commissioners in Human Services. He served three governors and five secretaries of human services over eight years, recruiting cabinet officers and commissioners. In between recruiting assignments, John served as an Assistant Commissioner and a Director in Juvenile Corrections and Child Welfare. By the end of his years of public service, John had benefited from working with senior colleagues who had gone on to successful careers in higher education, academic medicine, public authorities, and national foundations. In the early 1980s, these colleagues became the founding client base of the firm. In his time leading Isaacson, Miller, John has conducted searches in many areas of the firm's practice. However, in the last 15 years, he has focused principally on university, college, and medical center leadership, heading many of the firm's university and college presidency searches. He has also focused on an array of dean, executive vice president, and physician executive roles for academic medical centers. He has attended with increasing interest to the values demonstrated in action by mission-driven organizations, the political and economic disciplines of their specialized markets, and the emotional and intellectual learnings that leaders acquire in a committed working life.




  • BA, Dartmouth College
  • BA/MA, University of Oxford
  • JD, Harvard Law School