Business Developer, Principal • Phillips Oppenheim • New York, N.Y.
Abolitionist Sojourner Truth once asked, “If women want any rights more than they’ve got, why don’t they just take them, and not talk about it?” Gener-ations later, in 1978, Grace Angela Henry received the Sojourner Truth Academic Award and, the following year, the Frederick Douglass Award, when she graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University. She graduated from Harvard University in 1983 with a master’s degree in education.
Like Sojourner Truth, she is a woman of action. “I have always left a position when it seemed the right time and even before securing the next one. The first time [I did] was the hardest and the scariest, but it gave me the courage to be bold and to take calculated risks in my career, leading to new challenges and levels of success.”
Since 2002, Henry has been the business developer at Phillips Oppenheim, an executive search firm specializing in the nonprofit sector. “I interact with board chairs, chief executives and superstars on the rise,” she says, to place them in organizations such as the Atlanta Women’s Foundation and the Brooklyn Public Library.
A self-described “facilitator” with a razor-sharp wit, Henry cannot stand indecision and self-pity.
“I am always looking for solutions and for the positive side of things,” she says. “I have been told that my smile is as valuable as a charitable donation. As a result, I try to give it out as much as possible.”
Henry spent much of her career in the “independent school” system. From 1986 to 1988, she served as founding executive director of Early Steps, a nonprofit, nongovernment organization that helps students of color navigate the admissions process of independent schools, and spent the next
two years as a management consultant to the American International School in Bamako, Mali. She currently is board chair of the Manhattan Country School and board co-chair of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School.
Henry’s ten-year plan speaks directly to her passions: perfecting Italian, taking up the piano again and traveling to her heart’s content.