Cynthia Emrich
Cynthia Emrich image

Cynthia Emrich

Senior Client Principal

Leading in Uncertainty

A playbook for harnessing the power of agility. Our research on organizations and leaders who accelerate performance in a volatile and uncertain world indicates that agility separates the best from the rest. Too many organizations are slow, bureaucratic, and indecisive. They fail to embrace uncertainty.


Cynthia Emrich is a principal in Heidrick & Struggles’ Washington D.C. office and a member of Heidrick Consulting. She helps lead the thought leadership and client work that focuses on accelerating leaders, including executives, high-potentials on the cusp of senior roles, and underrepresented talent.


Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles, Cynthia was vice president of the Catalyst Research Center for Career Pathways at Catalyst Inc., a leading global think tank and advocacy organization focused on women in the workplace. There, she led a research team whose mission was to uncover the root causes of gender inequality in the workforce and develop solutions enabling organizations to harness their full range of talent and individuals to realize their full potential.

Before Catalyst, Cynthia was a managing director at Duke Corporate Education, where she designed and delivered customized executive education for senior leaders in large global companies across various industries. During her tenure with Duke CE, she led client engagements in countries around the world, including Durham, North Carolina, New York City, and London.

Before joining Duke CE, Cynthia was a professor of management at The College of William and Mary, Purdue University, The University of Delaware, and The University of Otago in New Zealand.

Cynthia is a recognized thought leader in the field of organization science, with publications in numerous leading journals, such as the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Leadership Quarterly. Her research has been featured in prestigious outlets around the world, including Harvard Business Review, The Guardian, The Financial Times, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Fortune, and Veja, among others.


Rice University, Ph.D. and Master’s Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

University of South Florida, Bachelor’s Degree, with honors, in Psychology