Our Team

  • Nicole Arnold

    Nicole Arnold

    Nicole is a baking enthusiast, gym lover and self-proclaimed cocktail expert. Her weekends are often spent trying out new restaurants in Central London with friends.

    Nicole graduated in 2019 with a degree (2:1) in French Studies and History from the University of Birmingham. During her studies, she took part in a student exchange with the University of Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, studying the French language as well as French literature and history. Upon graduation, she worked for Her Majesty’s Prison Service with the aim of supporting rehabilitation and working towards a plan to limit reoffending rates. Nicole’s interest in Higher Education stems from her work as an Aim Higher student mentor in Birmingham, during which she inspired year 11 students from lower socio-economic backgrounds to pursue a university education. Nicole speaks conversational French.

    She now works as Senior Researcher in our global Higher Education team and has experience on academic appointments with institutions such as the University of Exeter and Erasmus University Rotterdam. She has also worked on a number of Professional Services appointments, including the Director of Business Engagement and Head of the Centre for Education and Teaching Innovation (CETI) for the University of Westminster. 

    +44 (0)203 653 0468

  • Christiane Baehr

    Christiane Baehr

    Christiane is the office chocaholic and an enthusiastic addition to any dancefloor. More often though, she expends her energy by running around after her two young daughters.

    Christiane is Society’s Chief Operating Officer. She studied German at Leicester University before going on to do a European Business Diploma at Anglia Polytechnic (now Anglia Ruskin University). She started her career in high-end hotels, working for Forte in the front office of The Russell and The Strand Palace in London, and subsequently became General Manager of a small chain of gastro pubs. Eventually she decided to buy her own pub in Hampstead, which she ran with her husband for seven years. Christiane joined Society in 2014 as our Office Manager and Bookkeeper. Her remit now encompasses all areas of the company's global operations. She speaks fluent German and conversational French. 

    +44 (0)203 653 0472

  • Clare Davies

    Clare Davies

    Clare is a keen traveller, reader and enthusiastic (yet amateur) baker. She is at her happiest exploring remote paths with her family in Cornwall and Wales. When not at work, Clare is kept busy with her young family and their various sporting and social pursuits.

    After completing a BA in Sociology and French at Cardiff University, Clare joined a local authority in a role supporting vulnerable young people. Fulfilling her overseas calling, she subsequently interned for a year with UNICEF in Kenya and worked for a women’s rights charity, FEMNET, during the pioneering days of the women’s movement in Africa. Returning home, Clare completed an MA in the Social Anthropology of Development at SOAS, which cultivated a lifelong interest in diversity, advocacy and employability. Clare started her executive search career as a Researcher, specialising in clean and renewable technology, prior to going in-house for a few years as Resourcing Advisor for a multinational financial advisory group. She then spent eight years at Odgers Berndtson, specialising in executive and non-executive appointments in Higher Education. Most recently, Clare was a Consultant at the boutique board advisory firm Ridgeway Partners, supporting the appointment of non-executive directors for FTSE, AIM and Private Equity clients in the UK, Asia and the US. Clare joined Society in 2019 as our Head of Research. She works to ensure that Society’s research team, client offering, knowledge management and sector insights are world-class.

    +44 (0)203 653 0463

  • Christopher Egan

    Christopher Egan

    Born and raised in New Jersey, Chris is an avid sports fan. He lives in Hoboken with his girlfriend and their adopted American Bully. He’s always looking for the next best slice of pizza and an opportunity to get out on the golf course.

    Chris graduated from the University of South Carolina. He soon joined WGN America in its advertising sales department, working on accounts for some of the biggest advertisers in the world. After a brief spell with The Nonprofit Times, Chris worked with PNP Staffing Group. There he handled temporary and permanent staffing needs for non-profit organizations across the United States, specialising in Development and Finance roles. Chris joined Society in early 2022 as our Head of Business Development for North America.

    +1 646 974 9099

  • Ksenia Frolova

    Ksenia Frolova

    Ksenia is a coffee lover, yoga enthusiast, and tennis player. She enjoys exploring new areas of London and testing out the latest cafés. Her ideal Saturday involves brunch and a movie night at home.

    Ksenia moved to London from Russia at the age of 17. She graduated from the University of Surrey with a first class degree in International Business Management. During her studies, she completed an exchange with Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, and spent a year in industry, working with a conference production company in London. She gained some experience in the hospitality and service sector with Starbucks, while completing her final year of University. Ksenia’s global outlook has led her to join Society as a Researcher in the Higher Education sector, bringing a real positive energy and can-do attitude to the team. Ksenia speaks fluent Russian. 

    +44 (0)203 653 0481

  • Monika Fryzicka

    Monika Fryzicka

    Monika lives in central London and enjoys an eclectic mix of hobbies including furniture restoration, horse riding and writing.

    She read Law at the University of Birmingham and has worked in search and recruitment within the education sector since 2007, leading the international and independent schools consultancy division at The Times Educational Supplement (now TES Global) and subsequently for independent search firms and directly with schools. This has included working with individual schools, Boards and ‘not for profit’ organizations as well as large multinational school groups, investors, education providers and school brand international expansion & start up projects, appointing to both executive and senior support function roles. As such, her network covers both the educationalist and commercial & operational side of school leadership. Although she is based in London, she has spent significant time in the GCC and South East Asia.

    Monika has also been a speaker at several international and domestic association events and conferences, hosting seminars on the international schools’ market, best practice recruitment, recruitment strategy & retention and process management.


    +44 (0) 207 935 4024

  • Sarika Gohil

    Sarika Gohil

    Based in North London with her husband and their baby daughter, Sarika loves to explore the great outdoors and to travel. She is also a crafting enthusiast who enjoys making cards, candles, and other creations for special occasions and family events.

    Sarika grew up in Harrow. She graduated in 2006 with a degree in Business Management and French from the University of Manchester. As part of this course, she was able to spend a year in France in a small town called Nevers, teaching English to primary school children. Upon graduation, she became a Personal Assistant and spent 15 years working for companies including Microsoft, Lyle & Scott, and Vix Technology. She joined Society in 2021. As Executive Assistant & Head of Engagement, she provides support to our Managing Director and our Chief Operating Officer, whilst also overseeing the firm’s external communications and social media activity. Sarika speaks fluent Gujarati, degree level French, and basic German.

    +44 (0)203 653 0469

  • Mahfuza Koli Haque

    Mahfuza Koli Haque

    Mahfuza is an avid reader, a tennis lover, and a tea enthusiast. She's usually the mother hen of any group and enjoys a quiet night in with a movie and good company. 

    Born and brought up in London, Mahfuza read Religion, Philosophy and Ethics at King’s College, graduating with a 2:1. In the past, she has been heavily involved in doing community project work and was the General Secretary of the national student-led organization, FOSIS, for two years. Recently, she has started to learn Arabic in her spare time. She speaks fluent Bengali.

    Mahfuza now works as part of our global Higher Education team, undertaking research on assignments for clients based all over the world. Her experience spans a wide range of academic disciplines and levels of seniority and her track record includes several appointments at the London College of Fashion, including the Dean of Academic Strategy; Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions at the University of Sheffield; and Professor of Marketing at the University of Exeter. She has also led on the appointment of Members to the Advisory Committee for Degree Awarding Powers at the QAA as well as working on various other leadership appointments for clients such as the University of Greenwich, Liverpool and Edinburgh.

    +44 (0)203 653 0471

  • James Lea

    James Lea

    James loves travelling and has worked all around the world. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the ever-expanding hotel and restaurant scene in the three cities where Society's offices are located.

    James originates from Lancashire in the UK. He attended Stonyhurst College and later studied for a Hospitality HND at Thames Valley University (now the University of West London). Upon graduation he was enrolled onto the bespoke management training course at the Landmark London hotel. After a number of years, James relocated to Australia, where he became Corporate Events Sales Manager for the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney. He moved into recruitment in 2007 at Hudson Global Resources, handling appointments in the Accounting and Finance space, before moving to Hostec and opening their London office. Immediately prior to joining Society, James worked for Portfolio International, part of the PSD Group. James was the first Regional Director of our North American business, setting up our presence in New York. After two and a half years, he relocated to London to be the first point of contact for Society’s private sector client base across all sectors. In February 2021, James moved to Auckland to be the first Regional Director of our Asia-Pacific business, developing our work across all sectors. His personal search track record includes placing the CEO/Secretaries of the Athenaeum Club, the Lansdowne Club, the Hong Kong Club, and the Oriental Club. He has also completed multiple appointments for the likes of Peninsula Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG),,,, and Expedia.

    +64 (0)21419 727

  • Simon Lucas

    Simon Lucas

    Simon lives in North Hertfordshire with his wife, his two children, and a ridiculously large collection of DVDs. He is a bit of a history and politics buff, with a soft spot for what he calls 'classic' rock.

    Simon is Society's Managing Director and Founder. He is a passionate believer in the ability of leadership to have a transformative effect on organizations, and in the ability of responsible organizations to have a transformative impact on the wider world. Simon grew up in South Wales, and read Philosophy and Politics at the University of Warwick. Along the way, he was Head Boy of Olchfa Comprehensive School in Swansea, and President of the Students’ Union at Warwick. In 2005, he was hired as one of the first colleagues at the executive search firm Perrett Laver. He worked there for several years before setting up Society. Simon’s personal search track record includes handling Vice-Chancellor appointments for the University of Southampton and the University of Nottingham, Chief Executive appointments for the likes of WAC Arts, Membership Solutions Ltd (MSL), and the National Trust for Scotland, and Non-Executive appointments for HM Treasury, CAFCASS, and the British Exploring Society. Simon was a founding Trustee of The Society Foundation and is currently a Trustee of Hitchin Girls' School in Hertfordshire.

    +44 (0)203 653 0462

  • Jomar Mercado

    Jomar Mercado

    Jomar grew up in Puerto Rico, but always dreamed of living and working in ‘the Big Apple’. He particularly enjoys exploring the many different museums around New York’s five boroughs and is continually discovering new and unusual ones to visit.

    Jomar graduated from the University of Puerto Rico School of Communication and worked with a variety of organizations in Puerto Rico, such as PR firms, not-for-profits, and government agencies. He relocated to New York City in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and completed a distance learning Masters in Corporate Communication from the Open University of Catalonia. His specialism became helping clients to gain more visibility through PR efforts, improved media relations, social media campaigns, and community outreach. After five years in the Communications and Public Relations sector, he shifted into the executive search arena and joined Society in 2021. He now works as a generalist Researcher, helping to lead assignments across North America and the wider world. Jomar is a native Spanish speaker.

    +1 (646) 974 9098

  • Emily Payne

    Emily Payne

    Emily is a keen traveller and is at her happiest when hiking across remote areas of New Zealand’s South Island. She has recently completed a marathon and now has plans to undertake a five-day kayak trip through the Abel Tasman National Park.

    Emily grew up in the UK, but moved to New Zealand in 2021. She has a degree in Physical Geography from the University of Leeds. During her time at University, she visited the Stubai Alps in Austria, where she co-authored a published scientific report investigating the ablation rate of a rapidly shrinking glacier as a result of climate change. Shortly after graduating, Emily spent time travelling around Australia and South East Asia. Upon returning to the UK, she began her career in executive search, working as a Researcher for a boutique board-level firm that specialised in senior executive and non-executive appointments. Emily joined Society in 2022 and is based in Auckland, from where she assists on a wide range of cross-sector assignments throughout the Asia Pacific region.

    +44 (0)20 3653 0465

  • Victoria Sanders-Clarke

    Victoria Sanders-Clarke

    Victoria was born in Oxford and now resides in Kingston, South West London with her husband and her young daughter. A real foody, Victoria is at her happiest when trying out some of the amazing restaurants London has to offer. She is also a voracious reader with a particular penchant love of crime novels.

    Victoria read Economics, Banking and Finance at the University of the West of England in Bristol. It was during her degree that she got a taste for the world of executive search, having spent a year with an asset management boutique whilst on university placement. After graduating, Victoria joined a search firm as a Researcher specialising in Human Capital, HR, Talent and Leadership Consulting markets. She then spent two years with Sousou Partners, working on global searches for the real asset sectors, which included real estate, hospitality and leisure, infrastructure, energy, and private equity. Most recently, Victoria was a Consultant for King’s Search, the dedicated in-house search team at King’s College London. There she was responsible for hiring senior leaders across all nine of the College's academic faculties as well as across professional services. Victoria joined Society in 2022 as a Consultant in the Higher Education team.

    +44 (0)203 653 2464

  • Tanya Stevens

    Tanya Stevens

    Our chatty native New Yorker now calls London home with her husband and two children. In her spare time she can be found running, writing, (dreaming of) travelling, and doing yoga.

    Tanya joined Society to lead and develop our work in the Not-For-Profit arena. She previously spent several years in charity executive search at Peridot Partners and TMP Worldwide, and prior to this worked for an internship provider placing American University students into roles across London. Tanya grew up on Long Island and studied International Relations and Journalism at Boston University, before moving to the UK. She also holds an MSc in Public Policy from University College London. Tanya leads Society’s board-level not-for-profit and global development work, including Chief Executive appointments for Stonewall, Leap Confronting Conflict, and RE:ACT, and Non-Executive appointments for Charleston, Coin Street, CAST and the Centre for Youth Impact. She has handled a myriad of cross-functional leadership appointments for clients such as Teenage Cancer Trust, West London Zone, Leonard Cheshire and the Aga Khan Foundation. Tanya is a Trustee of The Society Foundation, a former Trustee of Magpie Dance, and Chair of Society’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. She is passionate about designing and running open, inclusive recruitment processes that bring fresh talent into leadership and deliver an excellent candidate experience..

    +44 (0)203 653 0467

  • Barbara Taylor

    Barbara Taylor

    Barbara is a craft enthusiast who loves to spend time painting, crocheting, or sewing. She was born in Africa and, having lived in Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Kenya and Cyprus, she has an extended network to maintain through friends and family spread around the globe.

    Barbara is an international executive search generalist with experience across nearly all sectors, and from small to medium social enterprise start-ups to global financial institutions and multinational brands. In over 20 years’ in recruitment, she has worked on assignments in the UK, Asia Pacific, and the UAE, as well as in 44 of the countries in Africa. Barbara enjoys working with multiple stakeholders in diverse, multifaceted environments across varied functions and sectors. As a collaborative team member with a strong work ethic and a positive attitude and energy, Barbara possesses a deep understanding of the importance of due diligence, quality and speed to facilitate successful long-term placements. She joined Society in 2021 and works as Principal Researcher in our global Hospitality and Leisure team, but also handles assignments in other areas of the business.

    +44 (0)203 653 0482

  • Shehrazade Zafar-Arif

    Shehrazade Zafar-Arif

    Literature graduate, theatre goer and book lover, Shehrazade is the office authority on Shakespeare. She loves travelling, and is usually the person who drags everyone to inspect old ruins while on holiday.

    Shehrazade grew up in Pakistan and moved to the UK to study English Literature at University College London. She subsequently completed a Masters in Shakespeare Studies at King’s College London. Her jobs prior to joining Society include working as a Content Researcher for Blippar, a visual discovery app, and as an editor for the online newspaper Urban Times. She has also tutored GCSE English on the side. Shehrazade leads the research for our Development and Fundraising practice, with a particular emphasis on appointments that cross traditional sector boundaries or have a significant international dimension. She speaks English, French, Urdu, and Hindi.

    +44 (0)203 653 0483

  • Conor Wilson

    Conor Wilson

    Based in north London with his partner and baby daughter, Conor’s core passions are music, literature, cycling and travel. Like millions of others all over the world, he has also recently joined the ranks of obsessive sourdough bakers.

    Conor grew up in Boston, Lincolnshire. After graduating with a first-class degree in History from Royal Holloway, University of London, he became a qualified English language instructor and bought a one-way ticket to Ho Chi Minh City. Whilst teaching in Vietnam, Conor found time to travel across South East Asia and even completed an epic 2,000km bicycle ride in aid of various children's charities. He later relocated to Tokyo, where he spent a rewarding semester teaching at a University. Upon his return to the UK, Conor spent two years at Society working across the global education sector, handling appointments for organizations based all over the world. In 2015 he took a year out from executive search to work in international student recruitment for the University of Reading, visiting schools and attending exhibitions across Sub-Saharan Africa. Conor now leverages this experience as he leads Society’s work with schools, school groups, and other educational bodies globally. Rather than focusing on one particular niche in the education sector, Conor’s networks and track record are incredibly diverse. His Practice has a growing track record working with non-state education providers offering low-cost education in low and middle income countries, as well as with schools and school groups which operate at the more premium end of the international schools sector. He works with individual state and independent schools, as well as groups of schools. He also supports education-focused charities and other bodies which interface with the education sector, such as research institutes and inspectorates.

    +44 (0)203 653 0475