CEO & Managing Partner
David Martin, based in Washington, DC, is CEO and Managing Partner of Sterling Martin Associates. He started his executive search career in 1989 after spending eight years in the corporate world. For nearly 30 years, David has led complex executive search projects throughout the United States. As CEO, David guides the firm’s overarching business strategy while maintaining a lead role on multiple national projects each year. David has held senior-level positions with such global search firms as Korn/Ferry International and has launched new offices in Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA, and Irvine, CA. He founded Sterling Martin Associates in 2006.
In 2000, David started to focus on conducting searches for associations and nonprofit organizations as he became personally interested in the importance of these organizations through his work as a volunteer board member. Prominent association and nonprofit clients have included: AARP, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Independent Sector, National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), National Association of Children’s Hospitals (NACHRI), Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Sister Cities International, among others. Corporate clients have included such blue-chip companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, Evian Waters, and Sara Lee Corporation.
He has conducted searches in a broad range of executive leadership positions at the “C-suite level” such as President/CEO, and Executive Directors. He has also conducted searches for positions such as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, Chief International Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Development Officer. He has conducted vice president level searches for VP, Public Policy; VP, Development; VP, Education and VP, Research.
Through his extensive involvement as a board member, search committee member and volunteer leader, he brings a unique perspective to his association and nonprofit clients, providing first-hand experience with the particular issues and unique challenges of these organizations in recruiting top executives.
On the volunteer side, David served on the Board of Directors of Communities In Schools of the Nation’s Capital. He also served on the board of the national nonprofit, Good360, for nine years before reaching a three-term limit in 2014. He is an active member and volunteer with the American Society of Association Executives. He is also a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Independent Sector and BoardSource.
He has been a presenter at the American Society of Association Executives’ Great Ideas conference and also BoardSource’s Leadership Forum. He is a regular contributor to CEO Update and was recently interviewed by that publication about the role of social media in recruiting. David regularly attends national conferences for professional development, to build his network, and to stay up-to-date on the most current issues facing associations and nonprofit organizations. Recent conferences include the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Association of Fundraising Professionals, Independent Sector, and BoardSource®.
David holds a BA from the University of Vermont and pursued his MBA at the University at Albany-SUNY. He is also a certified Predictive Index® Practitioner.