Richard Allen, President

Prior to founding RPA Inc., Richard Allen enjoyed a successful career in higher educational administration as Vice President of both Gettysburg and Franklin & Marshall Colleges. He also held senior administrative positions at Lafayette College and Bucknell University.

Richard has a well-established reputation as an executive recruitment, fundraising, and institutional analysis consultant to hundreds of presidents, officers, trustees, administrators, and faculty at public and private colleges, universities, seminaries, hospitals, museums, social service agencies, and other nonprofit organizations nationwide.

danaDana possesses a breadth of experience in and knowledge of higher education, allowing him to offer his clients deep insights. A graduate of the Schreyer’s Honors College at Pennsylvania State University, Dana’s combined history as a recruitment specialist, front-line fundraiser, and search consultant enables him to align institutional goals with candidates’ abilities, delivering a nuanced, experience-driven perspective to clients and candidates. He has led searches for presidents, provosts, chief development officers, chief technology officers, and chief financial officers, among many other administrative positions. Having served at Bucknell University and Occidental College within Institutional Advancement, Dana possesses an understanding of modern comprehensive campaigns, institutional hierarchy and interdepartmental collaboration, as well as first-hand experience with higher education team dynamics. Dana’s bi-coastal experience grants him access to a broad, nationwide network of professionals, and his high capacity for meaningful and effective communication, combined with a dedication to building the strongest candidate pools, allows him to effectively and efficiently lead results-driven searches. His executive recruitment work spans public and private four-year institutions, two-year community and technical colleges, religiously affiliated institutions of higher education, as well as nonprofit organizations across the nation and provides Dana with the practical knowledge necessary to better match client needs with candidates’ skills, values, and experiences.

Isaac joined RPA Inc. in 2010 as an administrative office assistant, and in the Spring of 2013, he became a Search Manager. Since then, Isaac has managed nearly two dozen successful searches for a diverse range of positions and client institutions. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 2010 with a BA in English.


DrBarnesJames Barnes, Ph.D., former President of Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) for 19 years, brings to RPA Inc. an entrepreneurial spirit and the transformational leadership skills that facilitated Indiana Wesleyan University in becoming one of the national leaders in both online and adult education, while at the same time increasing its on-campus enrollment from 1,750 to over 13,000. Jim’s achievements at IWU include building an entirely new $250 million debt free campus, conducting two successful, high-goal capital campaigns, launching new and innovative curriculum offerings, and growing the overall institutional budget from $6 million to $130 million annually. In addition, Jim initiated IWU’s seven online degree programs which enroll over 2,300 students, launched the University’s first doctoral program, and increased adult and professional studies enrollment from 750 to nearly 9,300. An alumnus of Indiana Wesleyan, Jim earned an M.Ed. in History from Kent State University, an Ed.S. from Vanderbilt University, and an Ed.D. from University of Georgia. He taught at Wesleyan Academy in Puerto Rico and Southern Wesleyan University, and previously served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Houghton College, Dean of the College at Indiana Wesleyan, as well as several other positions at IWU. Jim, a minister in The Wesleyan Church, has been committed to educational mission work since he and his wife served as educational missionaries in Puerto Rico after graduation from college. He is a past member of the national board for the Association of Christian Schools International and currently serves on the board of Leadership Development International (LDI), a mission organization based in Beijing, China. LDI’s International Schools of China, the country’s oldest international school system, integrates academic rigor with moral development, while LDI’s Integrity Training and Consulting is the longest established international training and consulting operation in China.

Bob GriesemerBob Griesemer joined RPA Inc. bringing decades of experience in secondary and higher education, as well as for-profit and nonprofit management. A native Pennsylvanian, Bob received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College. Prior to his career move to academia Bob worked for Scott Paper Company in several engineering and managerial roles. Bob has worked in academia/nonprofits for over 25 years. His first position was as Executive Officer (CFO) of the Laboratory of Nuclear Studies at Cornell University where he managed all non-academic functions of the facility, including operation of a high-energy physics, particle accelerator, supported by the NSF’s largest contract. At Dartmouth College he served as Executive Officer for the Arts and Sciences, managing faculty personnel activities and facilities coordination for that cost center. During his last year at Dartmouth he was part of a five-person task force that developed a comprehensive, ten-year facilities plan for the College. Bob spent a collective 10 years in private secondary education as CFO of The Hotchkiss School and the Ross School & Institute, where he played a major role in over a dozen major capital projects that completely changed the appearance of both campuses. Long-range planning and multi-year budgets were initiated at both, schools, during his tenure. He returned to the College environment in June 2001 when he became the Vice President and Treasurer at Lycoming College, retiring in 2007 to join RPA Inc. With broad based management experience, Bob stands ready to bring top expertise to the service of RPA Inc.’s clients.

James HeffernanJames (Jim) Heffernan, Ph.D. is Senior Associate at the New York Campus Compact (NYCC), and its former Executive Director. His career spans over 50 years in higher education as administrator, researcher, faculty member, and consultant. Academic leadership and organizational development, campus/community partnerships, and student affairs are among his areas of expertise. Prior to NYCC, Dr. Heffernan was Vice President for Student Affairs and Educational Services at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, where he also served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Previous work experience includes serving as Executive Director of The Washington (D.C.) Center for Learning Alternatives; Visiting Professor at the Institute for Higher Education in New South Wales, Australia; Associate Professor in the Syracuse University Department of Higher and Adult Education; Assistant Director of Institutional Research at Dartmouth College; and Research Assistant at the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Higher Education. In addition, Dr. Heffernan was a member of the AAHE task force for The Search Committee Handbook – A Guide to Recruiting Administrators. Dr. Heffernan earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education and a Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Michigan; a Master of Arts in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education from Columbia University Teachers College; and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Lafayette College.

Gary Lowe 20124Gary Lowe was chief advancement officer and senior development officer at three colleges and universities for more than 30 years. He served 15 years at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, 11 years at Tufts University, and most recently, seven years as Dean and Vice President for Advancement at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA). During his tenure at MMA, he also served as Executive Director of the MMA Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) corporation with a board of trustees devoted to the advancement of the academy. At MMA, Gary convened summits of the chief advancement officers of all the state colleges in the Commonwealth to share best practices, pool resources, and inspire mutually beneficial collaboration. Each of the three schools Gary served saw increased giving during his tenure ranging from four-fold to sixteen-fold. Having run five comprehensive campaigns from concept to successful conclusion, and having had substantial roles in other campaigns raising anywhere from $2 million to $1.2 billion, Gary is a skilled campaign planner, manager, and fundraising consultant as well as a search leader. He offers clients of RPA Inc. special skills and experience in institutional visioning, board development, international fundraising, and gift planning. Gary was the architect of MMA’s inclusive Commission for the Future of the Academy. He was also one of three architects of Tufts Institute for Leadership & International Perspective (TILIP) in Beijing, Boston, Hong Kong, and New York City. Gary earned a bachelor’s degree from Denison University and a master’s degree from Miami University, in addition to graduate work at the Universities of Maine, Guam, and Indiana. He acquired a U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Master License. Before entering the field of educational advancement, Gary served in the United States Air Force as a commissioned officer with posts in Maine and Southeast Asia. He also held educational posts in admissions, student life, and the office of the president.

stewartNorman Stewart, Ph.D., LL.D. has served as consultant to hundreds of presidents, officers, administrators, and trustees of higher educational, cultural and charitable institutions in the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Prior to his consulting career, he served as President of several independent universities including Rockford University, Post University, Mount Senario College, Regent’s University London (United Kingdom), and the Near East School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. He also served as Vice President of Academic Affairs of Mount St. Joseph University and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs of Maryville University of Saint Louis. He has been Managing Director of the Higher Education Practice at Harvard Group International and the CEO of Brakeley, John Price Jones, Ltd., one of the world’s leading firms of fundraising and management consultants. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Sigma Nu, Norman received a B.A. from Wheaton College, an M.A. and Ph.D. from Saint Louis University, a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Bonn (Germany), and an honorary LL.D. from Kobe Jogakuin University (Japan). President Reagan invited him to serve on the White House Advisory Committee on Funding of Higher Education. Norman has been a trustee or director of numerous educational, cultural, and civic institutions in the United States, Great Britain, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kosovo.

Search Managers

014 VickyVicky has been a member of the staff at RPA Inc. since 1999. Vicky has 20 years experience in a variety of health and human services as both a provider of care and an administrator. Vicky has provided training in boardsmanship, fundraising, board and administrator relations, time management, organizational communications, and a variety of other topics to nonprofit businesses. She has conducted organizational analyses for nonprofits with the goal of identifying and planning to overcome obstacles to progress and aided in the development and implementation of action plans to address those findings. Vicky has led executive searches for Pearl Buck International, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the University of the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia Community College, the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, as well as many other organizations. She has assisted in management and development studies for such institutions as Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Wilmington College, Delaware Valley College, Flagler College, and Elmira College. In addition to her work for RPA Inc., Vicky is a writer whose “Recruiter’s Corner” column is seen monthly in “INSIGHT into Diversity,” the nation’s oldest and largest diversity focused publication.

022 KendraKendra joined the staff at RPA Inc. in March of 2013 as an Administrative Office Assistant. She is currently a Search Manager, working directly with our clients and RPA Inc. Senior Consultants to deliver exceptional search services. Kendra is a graduate of Lycoming College, with a Bachelor of Arts in Managerial Economics. She brings experience from employment in multiple departments on campus and an internship with the Lycoming-Clinton Joinder. Kendra’s dedication to candidates and clients goes beyond measure, and she brings a strong relationship component to the search and interview process.

Amanda O’Donnell joined the staff at RPA Inc. in the fall of 2011 as an Administrative Office Assistant. She is currently a Search Manager, working alongside RPA Inc. Senior Consultants to provide tailored search services to our unique clients. Amanda is a graduate from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science. During her role as Search Manager, Amanda has enjoyed working with clients including Northern Virginia Community College, Monroe Community College, Montgomery County Community College, Springfield College, among many other fine institutions.

Along with our full staff of experienced consultants and search managers, RPA Inc. has a team of support staff who provide additional assistance throughout your search process.

Additional Staff

  • Build and maintain an accurate network of relevant professionals.
  • Provide additional support by creating a tailored outreach plan specifically designed for your search.


  • Collect, manage, and acknowledge all necessary candidate materials
  • Assemble and organize client materials for the on-site recruitment analysis and neutral-site interviews.