John Howard is a partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ Chicago office and a member of the Mining and Metals Practice, having led the practice from 2016 through 2019. He places senior management, executive level, and board of director positions for regional and global manufacturing, natural resources, and engineering companies.


John’s expertise includes leading search assignments for non-executive director, CEO, president and vice president (operations, sales & marketing, etc.) level positions within the North American market. His experience covers steel and aluminum production and processing, aerospace manufacturing, mining and capital equipment manufacturers for various industries, and has served both public and private equity-backed portfolio companies in the industrial market.

John joined Heidrick & Struggles in 2014 as a partner in the Industrial Practice, relocating to his native Toronto after residing in the U.S. for 25 years. In 2019, John returned to Pittsburgh, PA and is affiliated with the Chicago office.

Before joining Heidrick & Struggles, John spent 12 years in executive search as a managing director with a global search firm in Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to his career in executive search, John had a twenty-year career in the metals and engineered equipment industries. He was vice president and general manager of a division of Danieli Corporation in Pittsburgh. Before that, he was vice president of sales and marketing for Fuchs Systems, Inc.

Prior to his sales career, John held positions in project management, engineering, and maintenance, both for equipment supply companies and steel mills. His experience in the metals business includes process improvement, capital equipment supply, engineering and construction of Greenfield and Brownfield facilities.


Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering