Karen Rosa West, PhD


Karen Rosa West is a partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ Chicago office and global head of psychology and research for Heidrick Laboratories (HLabs). She is an executive coach and executive assessor. 


Karen advises boards, CEOs, and HR leadership on succession planning, leadership development, and talent management. She works globally, has lived internationally, and has developed a deep concentration in insurance, healthcare and life sciences, and natural resources industries. She leads a team of psychologists who develop tools and methods to support the creation of deeper leadership insights at the leader, team, and organizational levels. Karen is a lead architect for the Heidrick Leadership Framework and the firm’s proprietary tool, Leadership Signature®.

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, including land, water, open ocean survival, aeromedical, and pilot flight training.

A licensed psychologist, she is also a certified professional coach through the International Coach Federation.


Ohio University, PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Ohio University, MSc in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Wright State University, BSc in Psychology with Honors, Minor in History