Change And Transition Team Profiles - Linkage
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Our Change & Transition Team

Jennifer McCollum

Jennifer McCollum

CEO

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 build 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, Jennifer 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 throughout 50 countries and grew revenue at a 97 percent combined annual growth rate across five years.

Previously, Jennifer 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.

Jennifer 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.

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Maria Howard

Maria Howard

Chief Revenue Officer

Maria Howard is Chief Revenue Officer at Linkage, where she oversees the global business development, marketing and Linkage Network teams. 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 measurable 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 integrated 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 capability 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.

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Jillian Ihsanullah

Jillian Ihsanullah

Chief Experience Officer

Jillian Ihsanullah is the Chief Experience Officer at Linkage. She is Linkage’s principal researcher and thought leader on gender and leadership. In addition to her academic background and publications, Jillian boasts over 25 years of experience working with organizations to build values, people systems and leadership experiences that accelerate the development and commitment of women, while enlarging talent pipelines. 

An industrial/organizational psychologist, leadership consultant and executive coach with wide-ranging business and consulting experience, Jillian is a trusted advisor of leaders from CEOs and senior vice presidents to middle managers. Her career has focused on organizational transformation through the use of human resources, change management, and decision-making concepts and tools. 

Jillian’s skill in facilitation and leadership development was first recognized at Purdue University, where she was identified as a top instructor for excellence in teaching undergraduate psychology courses. She went on to design and facilitate leadership development programs and initiatives for leaders in the business world. Integrating her passion for leadership and expertise in measurement, Jillian developed Linkage’s Return on Leadership Development (ROLD) system to measure the bottom-line impact of leadership development efforts. She also led the team that created Linkage’s Women in Leadership Assessment™ (WILA) and the Advancing Women Organizational Assessment™ (AWOA). Her most recent research, Changing the Game for Women in the Workplace identifies the four dimensions most directly correlated with the advancement and effectiveness of women leaders.

Jillian graduated from Connecticut College with a BA in Psychology. She earned her MS and PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Purdue University, where her research focused on measurement, decision making and gender differences in leadership styles. Her dissertation analyzed the decision making of executive teams.

Jillian’s clients include Aldo Shoes, American Airlines, Boston Edison, CalFarm Insurance, Fidelity Investments, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, FM Global, GE Capital, General Motors, Genpact, The Institute of International Education, Jeppesen, John Deere, Lockheed Martin, LPL Financial, Mattel, McDonald’s Corporation, Meridian Health, Morgan Stanley, Philips Corporation, Principal Financial Group, Scudder Investments, Toyota, Turkcell, and The United Nations.

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Shannon Bayer

Shannon Bayer

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.

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