Ward, Ph.D.

Senior Client Partner, Higher Education, Academic Medicine, Law

Josh Ward, PhD is a Senior Client Partner and veteran member of the firm’s Academic Practice, specializing in Higher Education, Academic Medicine, and Law. He has been with Korn Ferry for nine years, successfully serving first as a Senior Associate and then Principal before promotion to Senior Client Partner.

Dr. Ward has partnered with universities, academic health systems, leading cancer centers, and national associations across the globe on hundreds of executive searches spanning Presidents/Chancellors, Provosts, Deans, Department Chairs/Chiefs, and other executive leadership positions (CMO, CHRO, Vice President, Director, Associate Dean). Leveraging his former professional experience as a basic science biomedical researcher and administrator, he brings an established record of success partnering with client institutions and organizations to identify, recruit, and onboard distinguished leaders from across the academy, industry, and non-profit sectors.

Often invited to speak on talent acquisition and leadership trends, Dr. Ward is the author of several articles in the field and is a principal advisor to minority-serving and mission-driven institutions. He contributes to Korn Ferry’s thought leadership on equitable search processes, trust, and on forging successful relationships between candidates and institutions during a robust search. Hiring authorities and candidates who partner with Dr. Ward remark on his tenacity and unwavering dedication to their preparedness, foresight, well-being, and success. He understands that while only a single candidate will take up a particular leadership role, the impact that a national search can have on an institution is multifaceted and that a compassionate candidate experience for those unsuccessful can ultimately be key to that institution's future partnerships and reputation long after a search has ended.

Before joining Korn Ferry, Dr. Ward was a basic science researcher with over 10 years of experience, focusing on the genetic underpinnings of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disease. Originally from Oklahoma, he earned a bachelor of science degree in cell and molecular biology from Oklahoma State University. He then attended the University of Cambridge, earning a doctorate in immunogenetics and a master’s degree in applied biological anthropology, where he also served as a Member of the General Board. He then completed his postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Outside of his national executive search practice, Dr. Ward is known for his global pursuits, having visited 196 of the world’s 200 countries.