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Volume 21 No. 38
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Liz Moulton, Spencer Stuart

Photo: Caryn Leigh Photography

After graduating from Georgetown University, Liz Moulton wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, but she knew she wanted to create broader societal change. She did some consulting, teaching and coaching, and later went to Harvard and earned a master’s degree in leadership.

But she found her true calling in one of the most unexpected places. “I was recruited to executive search off an airplane,” she said.

Liz Moulton

Member, Sports Business Practice, Spencer Stuart
Born: Atlanta; grew up in Rye, N.Y.
Education: B.A., Georgetown University; M.A.; Harvard University

Beginning at Russell Reynolds in early 2010, before moving to Korn Ferry and now Spencer Stuart, Moulton has led prominent executive searches for the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. She got her big breakthrough into sports when she led the search for a new Big East commissioner, which began in late 2011 and was filled by Mike Aresco.

Just 10 years ago, hiring within the industry shifted to attract a diversity of gender, race and background, Moulton said. One of her passions is helping elevate women within sports.

“I want to be known as the woman who helps other women because there’s just not enough of that,” she said.

Some of her proudest executive searches include chief revenue and marketing officer at the Washington Nationals in 2014, commissioner of the newly formed Big East in 2013, and executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the NHL in 2016. All positions were filled by women — Valerie Camillo, Val Ackerman and Heidi Browning, respectively.

— Elly Cosgrove

Getting to know...

Attributes I look for when hiring: Nimbleness: learn quickly, adapt and adjust when needed. Also, strategic thinking — not being reactive or tactical — is critical.
Networking works best when: I make authentic connections with people and build meaningful relationships. 
Misperception of working in sports: That it lacks depth or complexity. I was drawn to build a sports practice, which I did from the ground up, because I saw that sports organizations were seeking sophisticated leadership, intelligence and — most important to me — diversity.
Proudest professional achievement: Without a doubt, it is working in partnership with CEOs, boards and executive teams who want diversity, and namely want women leaders at the table to drive the future. 
Woman in sports business I’d like to meet: Becky Hammon because coaching will be one of the last frontiers to diversify — I still think it may take a decade or more to see a woman as a head coach, and she will be known as the trailblazer of trailblazers in the niche of coaching.
I wish I’d known at my career’s start: That actually there is a glass ceiling, and some men will treat you differently because you’re a woman. Had I known, I would have started championing women and equality much sooner.