about the founder
BA LLB; Entrepreneurial Growth Forum (London Business School); ACC
For the last 20 years, Debbie has been helping boards and CEOs to diversify their leadership teams, in South Africa, the rest of Africa, and now in the USA.
Currently based in California, she is the founder and CEO of Jack Hammer, a global executive search firm (which has grown to be Africa’s largest); and Virtual Coaching Partners (an online leadership coaching platform), and hiresmiths, a US-based talent advisory firm.
Her newest initiatives include advisory support to Rebel Girls (a global multi-platform girl-driven edutainment company), a diversity study with contributors from Harvard Business School, and an international peer learning program for social entrepreneurs with Summit Series.
She describes herself as a ‘reluctant writer’, who procrastinates horribly! My first book (on team culture), “IntheFlow – Taking Mindfulness to Work”, was listed in the ‘Top 10 Best’ South African business books. My next one, “The Living Room Leader: Lead, Hire and Engage Great Teams, during Covid and beyond”, will be published in 2020. Or perhaps 2021?
Debbie is a serial entrepreneur, with a somewhat unconventional background: In her ‘first’ career, she was an award-winning contemporary dancer and choreographer…whilst completing her law degree.
“As much as I loved being a professional dancer, I have found tremendous creativity in the world of business and leadership. The rigor and mastery required is extraordinarily intense, but utterly rewarding. Just like being a dancer!”