Smart leadership starts here.

Debra Cruce

Principal and Senior Consultant

Debra is a seasoned executive search and human resources professional with nearly 15 years of experience in non and for-profit industries, including Higher Education, Healthcare/Life Sciences, Engineering, and commercial organizations.  

Currently, Debra serves as a Senior Consultant for the firm, leading search execution, candidate development, and client engagement.  Most recently, Debra served as a Senior Consultant for a leading national retained executive search specializing in higher education recruitment where she led/co-led the completion of 60+ executive-level higher education searches, including positions at the chancellor, vice president/provost, CEO, CFO, COO, and CRO level, as well as deanships, directorships, and chairmanships predominantly at AAU and RU/VH designated institutions. 

Debra has led a team of consultants and managed firm efforts in the areas of client services, strategic planning, advertising and logistics for the search process; including, job profile and advertisement creation, advertisement placements, the first phase, and final interviews, in-depth referencing and background checks, preparation of institutionally required reports, contract negotiations and on-boarding.

Debra holds a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University.


Debra Cruce
Harris Search Associates - an IIC Partners member firm, is a leading global higher education executive search and board advisory consulting firm with 44 offices in 33 countries worldwide. Our higher education executive search practice is focused on identifying and attracting leaders to support the growth of clients in the areas of research, science, engineering, academic medicine, and healthcare enterprises. Clients include the foremost universities, research parks, institutes, academic medical centers, and healthcare organizations driving global innovation and discovery.