The Consulting Report is proud to announce the Top 25 Human Capital Consultants and Leaders of 2023. People are at the heart of any organization, and it’s critically important to understand how to enable them to drive the culture in a direction that will benefit the organization as a whole. Whether it’s attracting new talent, creating incentive programs to encourage an employee to produce great work, or developing teams to reach their full potential, HR professionals are always seeking advice. And for that, they turn to leaders in the industry for their perspectives.
This year’s awardees are at the cutting edge of human capital management. Awardees such as Deloitte’s Michael Stephan, leverages over 26 years of expertise to advise on the human capital landscape covering includes strategy, operating-model design and transition, and global technology, among other areas. Meanwhile Booz Allen star Kate Nekic Padgett designs and implements strategic solutions that integrate people, processes and technology – ultimately touching the firms 31,000 person workforce. And Segal’s Tami Simon is lauded as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Employee Benefit Consulting.
This year’s awardees were selected based on nominations and a close review of the career track records of leading consultants and executives advising on human capital. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of the Top 25 Human Capital Consultants and Leaders of 2023.
1. Micah Alpern
Title: Senior Managing Director
Micah Alpern is a globally recognized expert and thought leader on culture and leadership. He joined Teneo in 2022 as a Senior Managing Director within Teneo’s People Advisory practice to build out its growing culture and leadership solutions, which include executive and team assessments, coaching, culture change, people strategy and the future of work.
Alpern has over 20 years of experience advising organizations and executives on the people elements of transformations and transactions across all industries. He has a history of growing leaders and evolving corporate culture to enable strategy, accelerate transformation, enhance the employee experience, and improve performance. Alpern is viewed as an innovative leader on culture change through his unique and practical approaches that are data-backed and behavioral-science based. He has built several leading-edge culture diagnostics and behavioral based approaches that accelerate adoption and enhance the impact culture has on performance, employees, and customers.
Alpern’s passion for culture and leadership led to him writing many articles on the topics and being quoted as an expert in major publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, The Washington Post, and others. He has also appeared on CNBC, several podcasts, and delivered multiple speaking engagements at board and executive forums on the people agenda, culture, leadership, and remote work. This resulted in Allpern being recognized as a leading thinker in these areas, including being identified as a “Remote Work Influencer” in 2021 and 2022.
Prior to joining Teneo, Alpern spent time at EY, Kearney, and Booz & Company. He has a a master’s in business management from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s in economics and communications from Northwestern University.
2. Michael P. Stephan
Company: Deloitte Consulting
Title: US Human Capital National Managing Partner
Michael Stephan has been Deloitte’s US Human Capital National Managing Partner since 2019. As an active member of the Deloitte Consulting Management Committee and the Global Human Capital Executive Leadership Team, Stephan helps business leaders conceptualize, design, and execute major changes that can lead to a more strategic, business-driven organization. He helps companies develop and integrate operating models across the operations and technology spectrum, with a targeted focus on optimizing the delivery of enterprise services to promote improved performance across the workforce and organization.
Stephan’s global consulting experience, over the last 26 years, traverses the human capital landscape and includes strategy, operating-model design and transition, global technology, global sourcing, and enterprise workforce transformation and change management. He is an active contributor and author of points of views and continues to be an active contributor to some of the most prominent human capital eminence.
3. Kate Nekic Padgett
Company: Booz Allen Hamilton
Title: Vice President of Leadership and Executive Services
Kate Nekic Padgett is an accomplished leader with a successful track record in leading complex programs, developing innovative business solutions, and improving organizational effectiveness. Padgett’s expertise is in the area of human capital and she is currently serving as Vice President of Leadership, Culture, and Belonging at Booz Allen Hamilton. In this role, Kate is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to attract, develop, and retain executive talent, driving programming that aligns the culture to the firm’s strategic goals, and overseeing the execution of the DEI strategy that enables the firm to be an inclusive and equitable workplace.
Kate has spent the past 25 years with Booz Allen Hamilton in a myriad of roles spanning global locations such as Sydney, London and Washington DC. Kate’s superpowers are in designing, delivering and leading strategic solutions that integrate people, processes and technology – ultimately touching Booz Allen’s 31,000 person workforce. She is lauded for her thought leadership, analytical curiosity and depth, creative approaches, and consistent track record of success in driving transformational priorities for the enterprise.
4. Anthony Abbatiello
Title: Workforce Transformation Practice Leader
Anthony Abbatiello is a CEO Advisor and Workforce Transformation Practice Leader at PwC. He is a master certified executive coach and advisor to leading CEOs and boards, with focused expertise on CEO Transitions. He also leads PwC’s Workforce Transformation business, delivering HR transformation, talent strategy, change management, organizational development, and rewards services to CEOs and CHROs across sectors and functions.
Abbatiello brings more than 25 years of leadership and HR consulting experience to advise CEOs and boards in all industries, working as a trusted advisor to senior executive performance, transformational leadership, and succession management. He partners with CEOs, executive teams and boards to tailor succession, assessment, and development solutions to meet changing client needs, guiding organizations through times of transition and digital transformation.
Anthony joined PwC from Russell Reynolds Associates where he led the global leadership advisory business for the firm. Previously, he was a senior partner and global leader of Deloitte Leadership. In both roles, he was responsible for the market entry, growth strategy, and business operations of the leadership advisory business. He and his team focused on CEO/CxO transition and succession, digital leadership, and development of next generation executives.
Abbatiello began his career at Accenture, where he spent 18 years helping global clients drive organizational effectiveness through HR transformation and talent strategies. His client projects included HR strategy and transformation, M&A integration for the HR function, and pre-IPO setup. Abbatiello holds degrees from Villanova University in international business and business administration. He is an adjunct professor at New York University, where he teaches graduate courses in organizational assessment and analysis. Abbatiello was named an HR Trendsetter by the Society for Human Resource Management.
5. Tami Simon
Title: Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Consulting Business Leader
Named one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Employee Benefit Consulting, Tami Simon is a nationally recognized HR and employee benefits business leader. She leads Segal’s Global Corporate Consulting Business, helping address the organizational and workforce needs of employers including corporations, nonprofits, associations and higher education institutions, among others. She is based in Segal’s Washington, DC office.
Ms. Simon joined Segal in 2018 from Buck, where she was a global practice leader and member of the senior executive team. While there, she successfully transformed two practices into industry-leading and profitable businesses. Ms. Simon previously worked for Mercer, the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery, Hewitt Associates (now Aon Hewitt) and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office; she also served as a judicial intern for the Iowa District Court.
Ms. Simon is on the Boards of Directors for the American Benefits Council, Employee Benefit Research Institute, Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions and the Health Enhancement Research Organization. She is also on the Advisory Council of the ERISA Industry Committee, an editor of the BNA Tax Management’s Compensation Planning Journal, a member of the American Bar Association and a Fellow of the elite American College of the Employee Benefits Counsel.
Ms. Simon earned a JD, with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law, where she was a Law Review editor. She is also a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign, with a BA in Political Science. She is a member of the Illinois Bar.
6. Peter Brown
Company: PwC UK
Title: Partner, Leader, Global People and Organization
Pete has been a member of PwC’s Global People and Organisation Leadership Team since 2014, most recently as Global Clients and Markets Leader for the practice. He joined PwC UK as a partner in September 2010 having previously held senior roles at large professional services organisations. He has over 20 years’ experience as an HR and workforce transformation expert, working with large multinational organisations to help them tackle their people challenges.
Prior to working in professional services, Pete was in the Royal Air Force and continues to support them as a Trustee of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust with a focus on inspiring STEM skills within young people who also have an interest in aviation. He was appointed MBE for his services to the Royal Air Force.
7. Mark Williamson
Company: KPMG UK
Mark is a Lead Partner within our People Practice, which advises our clients in the UK and Globally on workforce and HR solutions designed to address their key people and talent issues to drive business performance. His focus areas are Learning and Technology. Mark’s experience spans industry sectors, including Defence, Industrial Manufacturing, Telecoms, Financial Services, Consumer Markets and Pharmaceuticals, leading some of the largest workforce and HR transformation programmes for these clients in the UK and globally.
Mark has over 25 years of experience, working in industry for Rolls-Royce and for a number of other global professional services organisations prior to KPMG. He is a frequent industry commentator and co-author of the well-established book guiding organisations in HR and workforce transformation – “Transforming HR – Creating value through people” – published by Elsevier.
8. Brent Young
Title: Director of Human Capital Advisory and Workforce Transformation
Brent Young is a Director of Human Capital Advisory and Workforce Transformation at KPMG. He has a combined client and industry advisory experience of more than 12 years. He helps organizations reimagine a better talent strategy to develop new ways of working, build a better employee experience, increase talent attraction and retention, unlock new sources of value, shape new capabilities, and prepare for the future using data-driven insights, talent, and organizational design strategies. He is also the Co-Lead for the US People Insights & Analytics practice at KPMG.
Prior to joining KPMG, Young worked at The Walt Disney Company in a corporate workforce insights and analytics lead role for five years and held an HR business partner-related role for two years. Earlier in his career, he also worked in other HR-related roles at large companies such as NBCUniversal, DIRECTV, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Young graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in predictive analytics from Northwestern University. Given his background, Young has a passion for advising clients using a three-pronged perspective through the following lens: (1) data and analytics, (2) the business, and (3) talent and human capital.
9. Steven Hatfield
Title: Principal Workforce Transformation, Global Human Capital Executive Committee
Steve Hatfield is a Principal with Deloitte Consulting and serves as the Global Leader for Future of Work for the Firm. He has more than 25 years of experience advising Global Organizations on strategy, innovation, organization, people, culture, and change.
He has advised business leaders on a multitude of initiatives including activating strategy, defining a preferred future, addressing workforce trends, implementing agile and resilient operating models, and transforming culture oriented to growth, innovation, and agility.
Hatfield has significant experience in bringing to life the ongoing trends impacting the future of work, workforce, and workplace. He is a regular speaker and author on the future of work, and is currently on the Deloitte leadership team, shaping the research and marketplace dialogue on future workforce and workplace trends and issues. Hatfield has a masters in social change and development from Johns Hopkins (SAIS) and an MBA from Wharton.
10. Yaarit Silverstone
Title: Senior Managing Director of Strategy, Talent & Organization
Over her remarkable three-decade tenure at leading professional services company Accenture, Yaarit Silverstone has served in a wide variety of critical roles, including her most recent title of Senior Managing Director for Strategy, Talent & Organization. Silverstone’s range of expertise encompasses a large spectrum of organizational and leadership domains, and she contributes particular insight in human capital strategy and talent management solutions to Accenture.
Before beginning her legendary career with Accenture, Silverstone worked in key positions with Gemini Consulting and AECI’s strategy team. A passionate volunteer, she has served on the board of the United Way of Greater Atlanta among other community benefit organizations. She earned an MBA in psychology, social work, and business and managerial economics from the University of the Witwatersrand.
11. Allison Hoeinghaus
Company: Alvarez & Marsal
Title: Managing Director
Managing Director Allison Hoeinghaus is one of the key figures in compensation and benefits working at Alvarez & Marsal. With special expertise in M&A, bankruptcy, and the broad-scale tax and organizational ramifications of accounting, Hoeinghaus works with companies of all sizes to compensate and incentivise their workforces. A Certified Public Accountant and Certified Executive Compensation Professional, she has helped direct her company’s response to critical modern issues including pay disparity, pandemic relief efforts, and environmental impact.
Hoeinghaus’ storied tenure with Alvarez & Marsal began in 2006, previous to which she served in KPMG’s compensation and benefits practice. A recognized expert across the industry, her insights into her home company’s groundbreaking work in strategy and leadership are routinely published on a global stage. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Texas, Austin’s McCombs School of Business.
12. Dan Schwartz
Company: Bain & Company
In addition to his considerable work in his capacity as Partner at Bain & Company, Dan Schwartz leads the company’s leadership and talent capability and its CHRO forum, as well as serving on its aerospace & defense and advanced manufacturing & services practices. Among his manifold contributions to Bain’s mission, Schwartz is responsible for bringing to life its organization performance assessment platform known as the Bain Organizational Navigator.
Schwartz’s work at Bain stretches back to 2001, when he first joined the company as an associate consultant. After a brief departure to work as a senior analyst for The Walt Disney Company, he swiftly rose through the ranks at Bain, serving as a principal for five years before being named Partner in 2014. Schwartz holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Michigan as well as an MBA in strategy and organization from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
13. Martine Ferland
Title: Chief Executive Officer and President
Industry veteran Martine Ferland is President and Chief Executive Officer of Mercer, an American consulting firm and a subsidiary of the global consulting firm Marsh McLennan. Founded in 1945, Mercer is now a leader in human resources, employee health and benefits, and financial services. Since 2019, Ferland has served as the firm’s CEO and president; she leads 25,000 colleagues in providing trusted advice and solutions to build healthier and more sustainable futures for clients and communities.
Before being named Mercer’s president and CEO in 2019, Martine served as Mercer’s Group President and was responsible for leading Regions and Global Business Solutions. Prior to joining the firm, she spent 25 years with Willis Towers Watson where she held leadership positions in North America and Asia. She earned a bachelor's degree in actuarial science from Laval University, Quebec, and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.
14. Amber Grewal
Company: Boston Consulting Group
Title: Managing Director, Partner, and Head of Global Talent
Over and above her duties as Managing Director and Partner at Boston Consulting Group, Amber Grewal also serves as Head of Global Talent for the San Francisco-based human capital and corporate strategy company. She is the individual responsible for delivering transformative results for how clients across industries can modernize their global talent.
Grewal’s history of leadership excellence extends back through her previous pivotal positions at major brands. Before joining Boston Consulting Group in 2020, she served in executive and leadership posts at organizations including Microsoft, IBM, GE, and KPMG. Grewal earned a bachelor’s degree in leadership and organizational studies from Saint Mary’s College of California, and pursued studies in management and strategy from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Cornell University.
15. George Oommen
Title: Senior Director and Global HR Technology & Operations Transformation
A global standout in organizational development and HR technology, George Oommen works at Cognizant as Senior Director and head of Global HR Technology and Operations Transformation. He has demonstrated unparalleled expertise in helping clients devise and maintain enterprise-grade talent technology architecture, leveraging technology to maximize the impact of human workforce potential.
Prior to beginning his work at Cognizant in 2011, Oommen worked in critical HR positions at Syntel and Genpact. His achievements in the human capital sphere have repeatedly been recognized by his colleagues, with Oommen being awarded honors including the Chief People Officer Leadership Award and the NExT Connectors Award. He earned a bachelor’s degree in production engineering and management from the National Institute of Technology Calicut as well as an MBA from the Indian Institute of Science.
16. Daniel Ferron
As a Principal at EY, Daniel Ferron heads the firm’s Global People Advisory Services, and is responsible for the design and implementation of EY’s global HR transformation services. Among his other areas of excellence, Ferron provides clients with unmatched insight into how human capital can be better managed through investment in automation and cloud technologies, all while demonstrating the impact of a people-forward approach to organizational strategy.
Before beginning at EY, Ferron worked as a director at Towers Watson for nearly a decade, spearheading the firm’s mergers and acquisitions across the Southeast region. He began his illustrious career in human capital specializing in change management as a human performance consultant at Accenture. He holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources management as well as an MBA from Florida State University.
17. Eric Gonzaga
Company: Grant Thornton
Title: National Managing Principal and Human Capital Services Practice Leader
Eric Gonzaga is National Managing Principal and Human Capital Services Practice Leader at Grant Thornton. In this position, he has distinguished himself with his commitment to designing and implementing equity-driven, incentive-based compensation initiatives throughout the company. His broad expertise across multiple industries positions him as an unparalleled leader in tax and human capital services.
Before he joined Grant Thornton in 2008, Gonzaga served as vice president of Clark Consulting for eight years. An enthusiastic and engaged member of the wider community, he sits on the board of the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Professionals, and has presented his work on compensation and benefits in numerous professional publications. Gonzaga earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Northern Illinois University as well as a JD from Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
18. Meghan Hermann
Company: GuidePoint Security
Title: Vice President of Human Resources
Meghan Hermann is the Vice President of Human Resources for GuidePoint Security, a Virginia-based cybersecurity consulting firm. Founded in 2011, GuidePoint Security is a trusted advisor for more than half of the cabinet-level agencies in the U.S. Federal Government and many Fortune 500 companies. In her leadership role, Hermann is responsible for all HR initiatives including talent acquisition, organizational development, culture, and people operations.
With more than a decade of experience, Hermann is a genuine influencer who thrives on challenges and can translate visions and strategies into actionable plans. Prior to joining GuidePoint, she was the VP of People Operations at NetSPI, a cybersecurity company focused on penetration testing. Previously, she was a recruiting director at Experis. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, advertising, and public relations from Saint Cloud State University.
19. Colleen Gentry
Company: Cambria Consulting
Title: Partner and Senior Advisor
Colleen Gentry has long been a standout figure in the history of Cambria Consulting, working to deliver next-level talent management and HR strategy as a Partner and Senior Advisor. This year Gentry celebrated a milestone after serving 15 years with Cambria, transitioning from her previous duties to preparing the next generation of leadership by providing executive coaching support through the Cambria Coach Network.
Gentry’s reputation as a changemaking leader was built over her decades of excellence at Cambria and other prominent companies. She previously held executive-level positions at Wachovia and First Union National Bank, where she led large-scale organizational development and leadership transformation initiatives. Gentry holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
20. Serene Yeo
Company: Ensign InfoSecurity
Title: Vice President of Human Resources
Singaporean cybersecurity firm Ensign InfoSecurity employs industry veteran Serene Yeo as its Vice President of Human Resources. With more than 15 years of experience in human capital leadership, Yeo provides her company with critical insights into compensation, employee engagement, performance management, and workforce diversity, and during the pandemic years she helped safeguard Ensign’s employees while growing its workforce.
Yeo has been hailed as an agile, visionary leader in the human capital realm since beginning her career as an analyst at Hewlett-Packard. She went on to distinguish herself in prominent leadership positions at Via, Barclays Capital, and IBM, developing a highly sought-after tactical approach to human resource management. Yeo earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and information and communications management from the National University of Singapore.
21. Carolyn Dewar
Company: McKinsey & Company
Title: Senior Partner and Global Practice Leader, CEO and Board Excellence
A renowned leader in executive consulting, Carolyn Dewar is a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, as well as the founder and Global Practice Leader of the firm’s CEO and Board Excellence practice. Dewar has coached many Fortune 100 CEOs to maximize their effectiveness in the role, including managing external stakeholders, shaping culture, and settling strategic goals. In addition to working directly with clients, she conducts ongoing research and writes influential industry articles, including some of the most-read McKinsey Quarterly pieces of all time.
Dewar has been a valued team member of McKinsey since 2000, serving as a global practice leader in strategy and corporate finance, as well as culture and transformative change. She is a co-author of the New York Times bestseller “CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets That Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest.” She holds a master’s degree in economics and international relations from the University of St. Andrews.
22. Jessica Harrison
Title: Vice President of North America Human Resources
Jessica Harrison is the Vice President of North America Human Resources of Protiviti, a global consulting firm headquartered in Menlo Park and San Ramon, California. Founded in 2002, Protiviti provides consulting in internal audit, risk and compliance, technology, business processes, data analytics, and finance. As a passionate HR leader, Harrison specializes in employee engagement, corporate culture, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs.
Since joining Protiviti in 2014, Harrison has served in leadership roles such as director of Meaningful Career Experiences and senior director of North America Human Resources. Previously, she spent several formative years at the firm as North American head of recruiting. She also held leadership roles at Korn Ferry International and KPMG. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and economics from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
23. Matthew Cowell
Company: FTI Consulting
Title: Senior Managing Director, Leader of the Human Capital Practice
Human resource expert Matthew Cowell is a Senior Managing Director and Leader of the Human Capital practice at FTI Consulting. Founded in 1982, FTI Consulting is a market-leading global consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., specializing in corporate finance and restructuring, economic consulting, forensic and litigation consulting, strategic communications, and technology. Cowell boasts more than 25 years of HR consulting experience, including leading financial HR due diligence, global post-deal integrations, and carve-out to stand-alone executions.
Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Cowell was a partner of HR transaction services (HRTS) within the deal advisory practice at KPMG, where he created and led the U.S. practice. Prior to that, he was a partner within the HRTS practice at PwC, where he led the New England region. He holds a bachelor of science in finance and management from the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.
24. Prashant Nambiar
Title: Vice President and Head of Talent Transformation
With nearly 25 years of experience in the learning and talent development industry, Prashant Nambiar is the Vice President and Head of Talent Transformation for Wipro. Founded in 1945, Wipro is an Indian multinational corporation that provides information technology consulting and business process services. Nambiar is a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach and a Luma Institute-certified Design Thinking Practitioner; he has spent his career designing and developing learning experiences and leading teams providing learning and talent development services to clients.
Prior to joining Wipro, Nambiar spent 17 years with Accenture in different divisions and roles. Most recently, he was managing director of global capability development lead for Accenture Operations, for which he also served as vice president. Other previous roles include VP, AVP, and general manager of learning services. He holds a bachelor of technology in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Calicut and attended an advanced management program for senior executives at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.
25. Jim Cashin
Company: RSM U.S.
Title: Partner, Technology and Management Consulting
Jim Cashin is a Partner in the Technology and Management Consulting division of RSM U.S.. Founded in 1964, RSM is the leading provider of audit, tax, and consulting services to the middle market, with over 13,000 professionals across the U.S. and Canada and a global presence in 123 countries. In his current role, Cashin works with clients to automate and streamline processes and reporting through the selection and implementation of cloud-based technologies. He is also a member of the firm’s national management consulting leadership team.
Cashin boasts 30 years of experience advising public and private companies in business strategy, organization design, and process and technology optimization. Before joining RSM, he previously held roles at PwC and Arthur Andersen. He holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Wesleyan University and a master of science degree from the University of Hartford.
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