How This Woman Went From Walter Mondale’s Secretary To Top Executive Recruiter

Judith von Seldeneck built the largest woman-owned executive search firm in the world. The Forbes “50 Over 50” honoree shares how she got her start at a time when opportunities for women were few and far between.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Judith von Seldeneck pioneered the executive recruitment industry – especially for women. After spending decades placing top talent at Fortune 50 companies, nonprofits and everywhere in between, she has honed the practice down to an art form.

To honor her impact as the founder and chair of the global firm, Diversified Search Group, von Seldeneck was selected as part of the 2022 “50 Over 50” Impact list, created by Forbes and Know Your Value, which celebrates women who have achieved remarkable success later in life.

“Morning Joe” reporter and Know Your Value contributor Daniela Pierre-Bravo spoke with von Seldeneck at a luncheon in New York City last month, honoring the new group of women who made the second annual “50 Over 50” list.

Surprisingly, the industry veteran admitted that when she was young, she never imagined her career after 50.

“I’m from the South, when I grew up women were supposed to be in the kitchen or the bedroom,” she told Pierre-Bravo. “They weren’t supposed to be working or have careers or think anything about that, so for me to have had opportunities and be part of a team that’s that largest woman-owned retained executive search firm in the world … it’s been a real blessing given where the world is today and the impact we can have in making it an equal playing field.”

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