About John

Recognized by MIT as one of the nation’s top executive recruiters, John Strackhouse serves as a Vice Chairman at Caldwell. His practice recruits transformational talent to the boards and leadership teams of deep tech/hard tech companies, often backed by Family Offices.

As an investor and former public company executive, John understands firsthand the materiality of exceptional leadership and the value it creates. Throughout his career, he has leveraged his passion for recruiting top talent as the driving force for helping his clients achieve sizeable outcomes.

John’s holistic approach and strong global relationships enable him to act as a trusted advisor on succession planning, talent acquisition, leadership, and company-building to clients across the spectrum of Family Offices, their portfolio companies, private equity and venture capital firms, and growth-oriented public companies.


In 2014, John joined Caldwell from Heidrick & Struggles, where he had an accomplished 19-year career as a senior partner in the Board & CEO practices. Earlier in his tenure, he established and co-led Heidrick & Struggles’ global e-business practice, which grew to become the largest practice in the firm at the time. He was also the key architect in building the firm’s relationship with the World Economic Forum and placed some of the most influential leaders of the Forum.​

John is frequently quoted in leading publications, including Financial Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Fortune, on topics ranging from global talent management and board effectiveness to C-suite leadership. He has also been a featured contributor at the World Economic Forum.​

Before joining Heidrick & Struggles, John worked for British Petroleum (ARCO) and was a general manager for the TAB Products Company. During his early career, he held a progression of management positions in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Toronto, Canada.​


He received his BA from Pennsylvania State University.


More About John

John serves on the Board for Penn State’s Smeal College of Business. He is Chairman of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University. Additionally, he was previously a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Fostering Entrepreneurship and also served on the Global Agenda Council on Skills & Talent Mobility.

Recent Feedback

John, Rui, and their team are quite simply the best talent executives I’ve ever worked with, by a significant margin. John worked to build trust, educate the candidates on the role and what it means to work in a venture stage company, and was involved in every step of the process from initial search to final contract execution. We think of him as a critical member of the team.” – Managing Director, Venture capital firm

“John is the most creative and successful senior recruiter with whom I have worked. John has recruited numerous CEOs, technology heads, and board members into our network. He has a personal passion for leadership… John is thoughtful about the requirements for the success of executives in any setting.” – Client feedback

“John is one of the top recruiters in the US… The profiles he provided by using a third party to assess the candidates was absolutely mind blowing. When we needed to make decisions about the final candidates, we had such thorough understandings of the candidates prior to interviewing them which was extremely helpful. I’d never seen anything like it… the assessment profile further serves the organization to understand how to motivate and improve the performance of the recruit.” – Client feedback

Recent News

Women entrepreneurs are a missed opportunity in venture capital. Here’s how investors and policymakers can change that. VC funding for female-founded startups dropped to a mere 2.1% in 2022, according to PitchBook data. How can investors and policymakers rectify this massive missed opportunity? John Strackhouse recently spoke with Dr. Ashlie L Burkart, MD of Germin8 Ventures, on rethinking investment habits. -read more-

Why Dan Vradenburg joining Trace Genomics as CEO is a big deal. Trace Genomics is described as “a category-defining agtech company that could help usher in a second green revolution.” John Strackhouse and team recently executed the search for the CEO of Trace Genomics, a soil science start-up. The article dives into why this placement is a game-changer in the agriculture technology industry. -read more-

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions: Are You a Leader of the Fourth Industrial Revolution? As the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) fuses the physical, digital and biological worlds, complexity will drive change that makes team leadership a non-negotiable skill for 4IR leaders. Learn the six key skills leaders must possess to excel as a leader on the Fourth Industrial Revolution in this featured essay.  -read more-

Back to Consultants

Stay on top of the latest intel across multiple industries and continents.