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Functional Specialties

Operations, sales and marketing

Industries Served

Technology and media

Deborah Sawyer
Vice President

A 25-year veteran of the executive search industry, Deborah Sawyer leads Pearson Partners’ technology practice, helping medium to large public technology and media companies with talent acquisition, succession planning, and geographic expansion. Using a partnership approach built on two-way communication, she begins every engagement by listening to her client’s needs, then merges her specialized industry expertise with an understanding of each client’s business culture to pinpoint ideally qualified candidates. Consistently recognized for understanding the strategic impact of her placements on her client companies' futures, Deborah is dedicated to supporting her clients and placements long after she completes a search. A trusted advisor to her clients, Deborah specializes in advanced technology, life sciences, financial services, and professional services.

With a well-worn passport and a career full of international experiences, Deborah is a citizen of the world who has led several major global client relationships and worked throughout the Asia-Pacific region, including greater China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. Her international executive search experience also includes assignments in London, Paris, Montreal and Toronto, as well as throughout the United States.

Prior to repatriating to the United States and joining Pearson Partners International, Deborah was executive vice president of the Singapore office of Sandler Training®, which provided a comprehensive set of sales, management, leadership, coaching, and related training programs. Previously, she was a partner with Odgers Berndtson, where she managed the firm’s Singapore office and headed its Technology Media and Telecommunications Practice for the region.

Earlier in her career, Deborah was a managing director for Morgan Howard Asia Pacific, where she established and grew the firm’s presence in the region. Previously, she spent seven years as a senior client partner at Korn/Ferry International’s Atlanta office and 10 years as a consultant with Heidrick & Struggles. She also served as a vice president and director of research at another leading search firm. Prior to entering executive search, she worked in marketing research and statistics.

Deborah is certified in Extended DISC and Sandler Sales Training. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Florida State University. She serves on the board of the Richardson (Texas) Symphony Orchestra and is the Chair of the Tech Titans Nominating Committee for Metroplex Technology Business Council. She has served on the Executive Committee of the American Association of Singapore and recently served as the Governor of that organization’s Career Resource Center for Expatriates.

What motto do you live by?
It may sound cliché, but the Golden Rule is my motto–Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Why did you feel executive recruiting was the right field for you?
I have a certain amount of intellectual curiosity. This curiosity, combined with a short attention span and the gift of conversation, did not lend itself to a role as a statistician, but it is ideal for an executive search consultant. I love that my job is asking people questions about themselves, assessing their behaviors and skills, and then advising my clients on which executive best fits their need. Every day is different, and sometimes every hour is different. In this job, you have a lot of balls in the air, and you can't afford to drop even one. It is exciting, exhilarating and intellectually stimulating.

If you had to change careers tomorrow, what job would you choose and why?
I would go to work in a similar role in a not-for-profit organization. Be it a charity, arts association or community group, it doesn't matter–just an opportunity to give back. I have been so fortunate, really just plain lucky, to have had so many wonderful opportunities in my life and to have met many kind and generous people along the way, I'd like to afford similar experiences for others.

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