As we embark into a new year with optimism and hope for Camber’s clients, team members, and the people and communities whom we all serve, we are excited to launch a new Camber management structure.
Growth and Evolution
Over the last 12 years, our organization has evolved through multiple phases and undergone dramatic changes, from a small start-up to a merger to form Camber Collective, and from defining our sector theories of change to our ongoing equity and belonging journey. As the scale of our impact ambition grows, we understand we need to evolve how we lead and manage our organization.
As we assessed our strengths and improvement opportunities across multiple elements of our organization and governance structure including, but not limited to, roles, responsibilities, decision rights, and professional development and pathways for existing and emerging leaders. We talked to leaders at other social sector consulting and advisory firms to understand their lessons learned from different structures and practices, what we might want to emulate, and what we want to eschew as we chart our own path. The key insights from our internal and external analysis were.
Guiding Principles for Our New Structure
Based on our analysis and reflection we defined five (5) guiding principles for creating a new leadership structure:
- Enable the organization’s mission and ability to scale and reach impact and growth ambitions
- Align with our firm values and our ‘keep it simple’ ethos
- Broaden distribution of decision making and influence
- Create pathways for existing and emerging leaders to learn and grow, and meaningfully contribute to Camber firm strategy and management and sectoral change
- Align governance model with strengthened financial management of organization
As one can intuit from the principles above, we found in our internal and external analysis that our current model for leadership and management lacked clarity in decision-making and budgets, members of our Management Team were all doing a little bit of everything, and despite best intentions for this not to be the case, we were both inefficiently managing by consensus while too many decisions were concentrated and centralized with the Managing Partners. We also found that we were under-investing in organization infrastructure and finance and operational capacity as well as in professional development for leadership and our team, which was limiting our potential impact and the pathways for leadership growth.
We evaluated multiple structure options and permutations, and as we often advise our clients, we recognized that while structure is important, the values, culture, role definition, decision-rights model, and individual people in each role will drive success and impact.
Restructuring Our Business Units
At the beginning of 2023 we shifted to a business unit structure for Camber, and created a number of new leadership roles and pathways. Camber will operate with 5 business units (BUs):
- Executive Office, which is accountable for the overall vision and management of the organization, and will steward of our mission, values, and external communications
- US Consulting, which is accountable for the impact and economic performance of our US client portfolio
- Global Consulting, which is accountable for the impact and economic performance of our Global client portfolio
- People, which is accountable for developing Camber’s talent and our internal Belonging work
- Finance and Operations, which is accountable for building the enabling infrastructure that allows the Camber team to do its best work
Brian will split his time serving as CEO and US Consulting Managing Director. Brian will work closely with Rozella Kennedy, our Director of Impact and Equity, who will now sit in our Executive Office.
Sakina Zaidi, whom we are excited to announce has been promoted to Partner/Owner at Camber, will serve as the organization’s first ever Chief People Officer (CPO). Sakina has demonstrated incredible leadership and impact over the last few years. We are thrilled to welcome her to the ownership group, and our clients and team will benefit from her focus on talent development and Belonging in the CPO role. The role was designed to be different than similarly titled roles at other organizations in that it is NOT a Human Resources role.
Each of these BUs will work closely and collaboratively with important new functional, sectoral, and geographic roles that will shape how we serve our clients and create impact, and how we enable belonging and connection throughout our organization.
Bethanie Thomas will serve as our Global Functions Leader, and she will be accountable for codifying our world class functional methods and tools and service innovation. Bethanie will serve in this role part-time, and will continue to work with clients to create impact in gender equality and global health.
Camber will have Sector Leaders for each of the 5 sectors in which we focus. Jessica Vandermark and Ben Jenson will co-lead Global Health, Matt Holman will lead US Health, Dr. Chidiebere E.X. Ikejemba will lead Climate & Environment, Marc Allen, whom we are excited to announce has been promoted to Director, will lead Shared Prosperity, and Ted will serve as interim lead for Democracy & Governance while we search for a Director to lead this work in 2023. Each of our Sector Leaders will serve in their roles part-time and will continue to lead client engagements and field-building efforts and eminence.
We are also thrilled to announce that Kate Thorson has been promoted to Director, and Kim Langenhahn has joined Camber as a Director. Kate will continue to lead a cross-cutting portfolio of work in health equity and gender equity within global and US contexts. Kim will work closely with Matt to grow our US Health portfolio and impact.
Both Rozie and Sakina will work closely with newly created Office Lead roles, who will be responsible for local Belonging and connection in our geographic hubs. These leaders are Sarah Burgess (Washington, D.C.), Abdel Agadazi (Paris, France), Bethany Wylie (Seattle, WA), and Joseph Zhang (SF Bay Area, CA). These leaders will continue to serve clients day-to-day.
The changes and change management of the new roles and structure are significant, and we are giving our leaders and team grace and time to adapt, and we will continue to ask for feedback and ways to improve how we work. We also recognize that our new roles will mean a shift in our working relationship – our incredible friendship and shared vision for Camber will endure, and we are excited to learn and grow and serve our team, our clients and partners in different capacities in 2023. We are also buoyed by the incredible leadership and talent we have at Camber, by the organization’s values and our commitment to Equity and Belonging, and by the incredible partners and clients with whom we work across the globe. We are grateful for a 2022 filled with countless good days and we are filled with hope, optimism, and determination for an impactful and joy filled 2023.
Brian and Ted
Brian Leslie, Co-Founder, CEO, and US Managing Director. Brian is a Co-Founder and CEO of Camber Collective and manages Camber’s US Consulting practice. He works closely with Camber’s leadership to define the organization’s vision and strategic direction and is responsible for Camber’s impact, equity and belonging, and communications in partnership with the Chief People Officer and Director of Impact & Equity. Brian has over 20 years of experience in strategy consulting, advising foundations, individual philanthropists and nonprofits on strategy, organization design, partnerships and operating models. Brian has experience working on a range of social sector issues and geographies, and brings specific expertise working with clients with clients that focus on policy, advocacy, and communications as their primary lever for impact. Prior to Camber, Brian worked at Deloitte Consulting, where he advised clients on corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions across multiple industries, as well as at Stockamp & Associates (now Huron Consulting) where he advised large health care organizations on finance and operations. Brian earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and received an undergraduate degree in Economics with honors from Pomona College. Brian is based in Seattle, and spends his free time running, playing soccer, skiing, and enjoying adventures with his wife Anna, who teaches Physiology and Biomedical Science as a local High School, two teenage boys, and his two dogs, Roscoe and Chicken.
Ted Schneider is Camber Collective’s COO and CFO, focusing on managing the firm’s performance and operations, and advises clients on aligning organizational strategy, organization, and business model towards optimal impact. Prior to Camber, Ted worked at Deloitte Consulting, where he advised clients on corporate strategy across many industry sectors. Ted was recognized as one of the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” in 2012. Ted earned an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with Highest Honors and received an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech. Ted loves playing tennis, skiing with friends and family and encouraging his two teenage boys to use both the left and right halves of their developing brains.