Jack "Rusty" O'Kelley

Job Title Co-Head, Board and CEO Advisory Partners
Country USA
Current Employer Russell Reynolds

Jack “Rusty” O’Kelley III is Co-head of the firm’s Board and CEO Advisory Partners and serves as a Managing Director in the New York office. He also is the Global Leader of the Board Consulting and Effectiveness Practice. His areas of expertise are board effectiveness and governance, CEO succession planning and activism defense. Rusty has led numerous board consulting engagements, helping boards to improve their overall effectiveness, performance and culture, as well as reviewing governance issues and director vulnerability in connection with activism defense. He also has designed long-term CEO succession plans for Fortune 500 companies and large-scale family businesses.


Previous Experience

  •  Rusty joined Russell Reynolds Associates from a search and leadership firm where he led the Leadership Consulting Practice for the Americas. Previously, he was with Katzenbach Partners (now PwC). Rusty began his career as a corporate lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell.
  •  Rusty has written or co-authored numerous white papers and articles including: “Looking Beyond the CEO,” “The Elegant Transition,” “Preparing for an Activist Before There is One,” and “Global Trends in Corporate Governance” – for each of 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, and published in the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.


Education & Affiliations

  • Rusty earned a BS in accounting, summa cum laude, from Hampton University, where he was valedictorian of his class, and a JD from Yale Law School.  Rusty serves on the Board of Lincoln Center Theater in New York City.  He has served as a director for Seventy-Fifth Avenue Investments and Track Chicago 1 Investments.