Clarke Murphy

World’s leading expert on sustainable leadership, former CEO of Russell Reynolds, and bestselling author of “Sustainable Leadership: Lessons of Vision, Courage, and Grit from the CEOs Who Dared to Build a Better World”.


Clarke Murphy is a leadership expert who advises the world’s top companies on leadership strategies that fuel profitable growth and value for all stakeholders. He is a trusted advisor on issues of diversity, sustainability, board formation, and succession. He has particular expertise helping boards include sustainable competencies and track record into multi-year CEO succession processes. As the former CEO of Russell Reynolds from 2011-2021, he spearheaded a purpose-driven approach to business and led the firm through its greatest period of growth.

In his new WSJ bestselling book, “Sustainable Leadership: Lessons of Vision, Courage, and Grit from the CEOs Who Dared to Build a Better World,” Clarke tells the stories of dynamic business executives who are using their position to solve the most complex social and economic challenges of our time. Since 2021, Clarke has co-hosted the Redefiners podcast, interviewing courageous leaders who are redefining their organizations— and themselves—to deliver extraordinary results. He is a regular speaker at business schools and headline leadership events, including the United Nations Global Compact Leaders’ Summit and the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit. His insights have also featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, the Economist and Financial Times. Before joining Russell Reynolds in 1988, Clarke was a commercial banking officer at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company (now part of JPMorgan Chase) in New York.

Clarke is a board member of Carnegie Hall and New York City Ballet. “The best leaders are those who help to build a better world –courageous leaders who are willing to pivot their organizations toward a more sustainable future and deliver lasting value for all stakeholders, not just stockholders.” Clarke holds a BA in history from the University of Virginia​.​

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