Our Change & Transition Team
Jennifer McCollum is CEO of Linkage, where she oversees the strategic direction and global operations of the Burlington, MA-based company. She has 20 years of experience building and leading businesses in the leadership space, with a focus on leadership development, assessment and analytics. Her area of expertise includes bringing analytic rigor to critical talent decisions by linking leadership behavior to corporate performance outcomes. The products she and her teams have built help global organizations across industries make the right bets on their current and future leaders at critical decision points: at time of hire, and when identifying high potentials, developing leaders and planning for succession.
Prior to Linkage, Ms. McCollum spent the last decade growing businesses within Corporate Executive Board (CEB), now Gartner. In her time there, she led product management within the leadership division, driving innovative solutions that helped organizations select, develop and place leaders at all levels. She also ran CEB’s Leadership Academies business, which developed more than 30,000 professionals in 2,100 companies and 50 countries and grew revenue at a 97 percent combined annual growth rate across five years.
Previously, Ms. McCollum served as CEO of IntraVision, a leadership consultancy she founded and successfully grew over the course of eight years while working across industries with public companies, start-ups, associations and non-profits. Her passion is creating vision, executing strategy and managing cohesive teams toward aspirational goals.
Ms. McCollum has a master’s degree in communications from the University of Stirling in Stirling, Scotland and an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University in psychology and communications.
Senior Vice President of Business Development
Maria Howard is Senior Vice President of Business Development at Linkage, where she oversees the global business development team. She brings more than 15 years of experience building and leading businesses in the professional services industry with a focus on leadership development, assessment and succession, and talent acquisition.
Maria's area of expertise include aligning business and talent strategies to drive measureable impact against organizational goals, and she has a passion for driving this growth through their most important asset–their people. She has brought to market innovative and integreated solutions, linking the talent lifecycle from hiring, retention, development and promotion resulting in differentiated leaders capable of growth in an ever-changing and disruptive marketplace.
Prior to joining Linkage, Maria spent the last decade growing commercial businesses within Korn Ferry. During her time there, she led several post-acquisition integrations, driving double-digit growth across solution areas. She started a new global function driving capaiblity to deliver the integration of KF Executive Search, Futurestep, and Advisory/Product businesses to the market. She has served as an executive sponsor on marquee accounts across life sciences, consumer, industrial and technology industries and has delivered global programs to clients and internal colleagues across NA, APAC, and EMEA.
Senior Vice President of Consulting
Jillian Ihsanullah, PhD, is Senior Vice President of Consulting at Linkage. She specializes in working with organizations to build values, people systems, and leadership experiences that accelerate the development and commitment of women, while enlarging talent pipelines.
Jillian has designed and facilitated a wide range of leadership development programs, including classroom experiences, action-learning teams, executive coaching, and executive retreats. Most recently, she integrated her passion for leadership with her expertise in measurement as the architect of Linkage’s Return on Leadership Development system, a unique offering designed to measure the bottom-line impact of leadership development efforts. Her clients include Aldo Shoes, American Airlines, GE Capital, General Motors, John Deere, Lockheed Martin, Mattel, McDonald’s Corporation, Morgan Stanley, Toyota, and The United Nations, to name a few.
Prior to joining Linkage, Jillian earned recognition for excellence in teaching undergraduate psychology courses at Purdue University. She previously worked at the Indianapolis think tank, Hudson Institute; cofounded Thought Labs, a social media consulting company; and ran Decisions That Matter, her own executive consulting and coaching business.
She holds a BA in psychology from Connecticut College and an MS and PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from Purdue University, where her research focused on measurement, decision making, and leadership styles.
Assoc. Vice President, Linkage Network
Shannon Bayer, JD, is the Associate Vice President of the Linkage Network. In this role, she helps organizations to drive business results through improved team effectiveness, effective negotiation, coaching, and innovation.
Shannon specializes in designing, facilitating, and implementing innovation, change leadership, and leadership professional development programs and has led strategic initiatives across a variety of industries, ranging from government to financial services, healthcare, insurance, and consumer products and goods. Notably, she designed and successfully launched Creating an Innovation-Capable Organization in partnership with Linkage partner and innovation expert Stephen Shapiro.
Prior to joining Linkage, Shannon was a Scientific Recruiter for Kforce and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. At Dana-Farber, she coordinated the training and career development of Dana-Farber’s postdoctoral researchers while attending law school at night. She started her own law practice and successfully grew her business using alternative and innovative methods in a challenging economic environment.
Shannon holds a BS in animal science from the University of Vermont and a JD in international law from Suffolk University.