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David Wagner, Ph.D.  

Senior Client Partner

David is a Senior Partner with Korn Ferry, based in the Firm’s New York office, and is a member of the Assessment and Succession practice and the CEO and Board Services practice. 

Mr. Wagner has broad experience, having worked with clients across numerous industries including: biosciences, healthcare, consumer products, energy, financial services, industrial, and retail.

Most of his current work involves consulting with and advising CEOs and Boards on CEO and C-suite succession planning, assessment and development. This work is always done within the client’s strategic and organizational context: Clarifying the strategy of the organization and defining the organizational and leadership requirements for success. He takes a holistic view of the role requirements in assessing leaders readiness or fit for that role, including experiences, competencies, personality traits and motives/drivers within the context of what is needed for the business.

Mr. Wagner brings to Korn/Ferry over 35 years of consulting experience across a wide range of industries. He joined Korn Ferry in 2011, with the acquisition of PDI Ninth House where he conducted executive assessments and coached leaders to enhance their impact and accelerate their readiness to take on broader roles. He has also held management roles, overseeing delivery-oriented consultants in the Northeast Region, a role he maintained until 2017 when he decided to devote all of his time to client work. 

Prior to joining Korn Ferry, Mr. Wagner was a Partner with Oliver Wyman, a global consulting firm, for almost 20 years. There he consulting with CEOs and their teams on planning and leading large-scale transformation, often involving organization redesign, culture change, and helping executives to better assess, select and develop leaders for the future. At Oliver Wyman, he also led the firm’s applied research group, consulting to and providing support to clients and consultants. Previously, Mr. Wagner held an internal consulting role at Progressive Insurance, and prior to that consulted to clients on organizational and leadership effectiveness.

Mr. Wagner holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial/organizational psychology from New York University.

He is a member of Korn Ferry’s CEO and Board Services practice as well as the firm’s Assessment and Succession practice.

He has co-authored a number of book chapters and articles on leadership and organizational change.