David Martin

David S. Martin, based in Washington, DC, is CEO, Managing Partner, and founder of Sterling Martin Associates. He started his executive search career in 1989 after spending eight years in the corporate world. For nearly 30 years, David has led complex executive search projects throughout the United States. As CEO, David guides the firm's overarching business strategy while maintaining a lead role on multiple national projects each year.

Before founding Sterling Martin Associates, David held senior-level positions with such global search firms as Korn/Ferry International and Boyden International. He has launched new offices in Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; Atlanta, GA; and Irvine, CA.

In 2000, David started to focus on conducting searches for associations and nonprofit organizations as he became personally interested in this area as a volunteer board member. This has been his client focus for the last 18 years. He interviews approximately 500 executives per year and has conducted about 15,000 candidate interviews in his 30-year search career. Prior to his executive recruiting career, he worked in the Fortune 500 world with Georgia-Pacific Corporation at the organization’s headquarters in Atlanta.

Prominent clients have included Illuminating Engineering Society, National PTA, American Rental Association, International Dyslexia Association, and the American Red Cross, among others. Corporate clients have included such blue-chip companies as The Coca-Cola Company, Evian Waters, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Sara Lee Corporation.

David has conducted searches in a broad range of executive leadership positions at the “C-suite level” such as President, CEO, and Executive Director. He has also conducted senior staff searches such as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, and Chief Development Officer.

On the volunteer side, David serves on the American Society of Association Executives’ Key Consultants Committee and on the Board of the Prometheus Consortium. He formerly served on the boards of Communities In Schools of the Nation’s Capital and also Good360. He is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives.

Through his extensive involvement as a board member, search committee member, and volunteer leader, David brings a unique perspective to his association clients, providing firsthand experience with the particular issues and unique challenges of these organizations in recruiting top executives.

David has been a presenter at the American Society of Association Executives’ Great Ideas conference and also BoardSource’s Leadership Forum. He is a regular contributor to CEO Update and was recently interviewed by that publication about the role of social media in recruiting. David regularly attends national conferences for professional development, to build his network, and to stay up-to-date on the most current issues facing associations. Recent conferences include the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Association of Fundraising Professionals, Independent Sector, and BoardSource®. David holds a BA from the University of Vermont and pursued his MBA at the University at Albany-SUNY. He is also a certified Predictive Index® Practitioner.

Return to Members Directory