Chief Executive Officer


Student Agencies




$165,000 to $175,000

/ Yearly


Sep 14, 2023


SAI’s mission is to provide Cornell undergraduates with the extraordinary opportunity to: 

• Gain practical experience starting and running businesses 

• Earn a substantial portion of the cost of a Cornell education 

• Provide valuable products and services to the Cornell and Greater Tompkins County Community

Student Agencies, Inc. (SAI) traces its roots to an undergraduate named Seth Higby, who in 1894 founded a student laundry business to help fund his own education. The business was successful, and when Higby graduated he sold it to a group of undergraduates, who in turn did the same when they graduated. This informal process was continued until 1910 when the decision was made to incorporate and expand operations. 

While the organization’s initial emphasis was on enabling undergraduates to fund their education at Cornell, over time the experiential learning opportunities provided by SAI became the organization’s focus. In 1920, a group of SAI alumni purchased a controlling interest in SAI and in 1942 formed a not-for-profit oversight organization called Student Agencies Foundation, which today is composed of past presidents and managers of SAI. This change provided the formal infrastructure that allows for the long-term stewardship and growth of the Company. In time, another company wholly owned by the Student Agencies Foundation was created to take possession of real estate property holdings, which today are substantial and include the 409-415 stretch of College Ave. This company is known as Student Agencies Properties, Inc.

In 2007, the Student Agencies Foundation (SAF), in pursuit of its mission, founded eLab LLC. to support Cornell students interested in starting their own businesses, as opposed to working within an existing corporate structure. eLab’s mission is to provide university student entrepreneurs with startup acceleration services, education, mentoring, and co-working/office space. Thereafter, SAF, in partnership with Cornell University’s Entrepreneurship @ Cornell program (E@C), co-funds eHub as a place where all Cornell Students can gather to work on business ideas or study. eHub is part of the Student Agencies building at 409 College Avenue. 

Emanating from the Foundation is a Board of Directors for Student Agencies, Inc., which consists of SAI alumni, University faculty and staff, local business leaders, as well as the current CEO and President of SAI. This group sets the Company’s long-term strategic direction and acts as a resource for student management.

SAI’s seven business units are each managed by Cornell undergraduates, who have profit/loss responsibility for their respective businesses. Each agency manager reports to the President who is ultimately accountable for the operations and performance of the entire portfolio. The Executive Team supports the President and the seven agencies in executing their business operations and increasing their profitability. With over 200 undergraduate employees, we are the second largest employer of students in the Ithaca area after Cornell University. 

Several full-time professional staff provide mentoring and support services to the student management staff, including a CEO who serves as a “Mentor in Residence” and a Director of Finance to ensure consistency in accounting, procedures, and reporting. The Board of Directors sets the organization’s long-term strategic vision and serves as an experienced resource for the student management staff. 

For more information on Student Agencies Inc., please visit our website.


Student Agencies, Inc. seeks a dynamic, dedicated, and driven Chief Executive Officer to assume oversight for the continued success and growth of the oldest independent, student-run corporation. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the CEO will be an experienced, visionary, compassionate, and entrepreneurial leader with extensive management experience and commitment to the learning mission of the organization. 

The CEO is a vital leadership role and provides not only the overall management of SAI, but most importantly, the CEO provides undergraduate operating managers with the tools, experiences, and mentoring support necessary to be successful business leaders. The CEO, together with the Company’s full-time Director of Finance, ensures continuity in Operations and provides institutional memory and support to each year’s team of student officers and managers.


Liz Lombard and Angie Sessoms of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please fill out our Talent Profile or email Angie directly. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential. 

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email us. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process. 


Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. 

Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world. Visit Koya Partners to learn more.

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Job Function

Executive/Senior Management

Job Location

New York

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