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Our Mission
Northwest Leadership Associates' primary mission is to assist local school districts in recruiting, screening, and selecting new superintendents and other school system leaders and provide consultant services to school districts in team building, school board development, strategic planning, and conducting management reviews.

Our Firm
Northwest Leadership Associates was organized in 2000 by Dr. Dennis Ray, who remains its owner and president. The firm is a limited liability corporation (LLC), but functions as a partnership with ten former superintendents who work as independent contractors.

Since its creation, NWLA has completed over 350 superintendent searches for school districts in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. NWLA completed 26 successful superintendent searches during the 2021-2022 academic school year. In addition, NWLA has conducted dozens of searches for assistant/deputy superintendents, human resource officers, high school principals, and other school district leaders. NWLA has been the leading education executive search firm in the Pacific Northwest for the past decade. Nearly 40 percent of Washington State’s school districts are or have been headed by superintendents selected with the assistance of Northwest Leadership Associates.

We are truly a unique search firm in several respects. All of our consultants are experienced superintendents in the Pacific Northwest, having collectively served for over one hundred and seventy-five years district ranging in enrollment from under 500 to over 20,000. In addition, two of our consultants have served as directors of leading university administrative preparation programs and one served as Deputy Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

In addition to superintendent searches, we have all done extensive consultant work with school boards and administrative teams in the Northwest.

We have intentionally positioned our firm as a regional entity with a strong national network. We have an outstanding national network of colleagues that includes university professors, professional association executives, local and ESD superintendents, among others. Both our email and our hard-copy address databases include many contacts in virtually every state in the nation. We are well know to the American Association of School Administrators, and they frequently recommend that candidates contact us regarding their interest in relocating in the Northwest.

We are the leading search firm in the Pacific Northwest, having conducted over two hundred and forty superintendent searches in the region in the past sixteen years.