Contact Hilary Sears


Hilary's professional career started in advertising and marketing, with the likes of Johnson & Johnson and JW Thompson. With an MBA from Cranfield there then followed a 25-year career in Executive Search, as Vice-President in global firms Korn Ferry, and AT Kearney Executive Search. She led on Board Assessments, board level recruitment and talent management (undertaking a secondment to the Cabinet Office).

She spoke at conferences on women on boards and undertook the research for 4 reports on UK Boards (Women on FTSE 100 Boards, Chairmen, NEDs and Board Effectiveness Appraisals). Profiled in newspaper articles, books, and BusinessWeek International, she was founding Chair of the Central London Branch of the Institute of Directors and served on their main board. She chaired the Association of MBAs and City Women's Network and sat on the boards of International Women's Forum London, and The Cranfield Trust.

Current activities

Since transitioning into a portfolio Hilary has chaired three major charities: KIDS, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and King's College Hospital Charity. She is currently a Trustee of Leonard Cheshire, a Visiting Fellow and International Advisory Board Member at Cranfield School of Management, a mentor in the Kilfinan Group, and a judge for The Sunday Times NED Awards.

She has compiled the 100 Women to Watch Report 2021 and 2022 released with the Cranfield FTSE Women Directors' Report, and continues to actively support the career advancement of women.

Hilary is a qualified coach and mentor and presents on the Cranfield Non-Executive Director programme. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics from UCL (where she is an Honorary Fellow), an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, and an MSc in Coaching and Behavioural Change from Henley Business School. Her research was into: How Coaching can help/has helped Women get to the Top.