Karen Rosa West


Office Location: Chicago

Phone: +1 312 4961000

Karen West is a partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ Chicago office and a member of the global Leadership Consulting Practice where she is renowned for high speed development of executive and board level talent. For more than 20 years, she has helped top teams and individuals hone their strategic focus, enhance effectiveness, deepen leadership impact and execute organizational change. She advises boards, CEOs and HR leadership on areas of succession planning, top team effectiveness and leadership development. She works globally, has lived internationally and has a deep concentration in natural resources, pharmaceuticals, and FMCG, although she has worked in a wide variety of sectors.

Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles, Karen was a director and part of the senior leadership team of an international boutique business psychology consulting firm. She specialized in executive assessment and coaching while creating long-term and customized talent pipeline solutions for clients in the financial, FMCG, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and insurance businesses. During her tenure, she led three different offices, two stateside, Chicago and Houston, and one in India, Mumbai. She also worked for another international business psychology consulting firm where she gained experience in the manufacturing, retail, mining, utilities, hospitality and non-profit sectors.

Her early career was with the United States Navy where she served as a lieutenant commander aerospace psychologist. In this role, she specialized in effective teamwork and resource management of aircrew and ground support. She earned her wings as a naval aviator through the Navy flight surgeon designation program that included land, water and open ocean survival training, aeromedical training and pilot flight training.


Karen earned her PhD and MSc in industrial/organizational psychology from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and a BSc in psychology from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

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