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Sharon Tanabe


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Photo of Sharon Tanabe Sharon has over 30 years of search experience, and she specializes in finding senior leaders for state university systems and private institutions in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Sharon recently completed a range of successful searches for the California State University system (including CSU Chancellor), Oregon State University, and the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Before joining SP&A Executive Search in 2007, Sharon gained more than 15 years of experience at Korn/Ferry International, where in her last few years she led the higher education practice of the Los Angeles office. Over the course of her search career, she has conducted nearly 400 searches. Since joining SP&A Executive Search, she has managed search assignments in all academic and administrative areas including president/chancellor/CEO, provost, vice president and dean for a variety of private and public universities and colleges, governmental agencies, nonprofits, and foundations.

Sharon's search experience began with the recruitment of engineers for the military aerospace sector. Later, she moved into the healthcare world, recruiting physicians and executives for community and children’s hospitals and for medical device and pharmaceutical companies.


  • California Single-Subject Teaching Credential, California State University, Sacramento
  • B.A. California State University, Fullerton, Music Education