Darryl J. Ford Vice President, Education Leadership Services

Darryl J. Ford joined CS&A as Vice President, Education Leadership Services, after three decades of leadership in private schools. In addition to leading executive searches, Darryl helps advance new initiatives to support leaders through transition, mentor and train aspiring leaders, and advance the social impact for educators and students across a wide range of educational organizations.

Background & Experience

Most recently, Darryl served as Head of School at the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia from 2007-2023. During his 16 years as a hands-on head of school, Darryl led a $135 million capital campaign and developed a masterplan to transform the campus while implementing a strategic vision and attending to the day-to-day work of the school.

Darryl’s former roles include serving for 10 years as the Director of Middle School at Penn Charter as well as Head and Executive Director of St. Gregory’s Episcopal School, a low-tuition school for boys in Chicago.

He offers significant higher education experience having served on the board of Villanova University for 10 years. Specifically, he served on the board’s executive, student affairs, and audit and risk committees, and served on and chaired the academic affairs committee when the University increased the number of doctoral students and doctorates granted and achieved R2 status with high research activity. More recently, Darryl served on Villanova University’s Aequitas Committee to analyze DEIB on campus and helped to implement university-wide changes. In addition, he is part-time Lecturer in the School Leadership Program in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. There, Darryl presents on and explores symbolic leadership as an important frame for leaders understand and employ, among other topics.

Darryl has extensive governance experience and currently serves on the boards of Wilmington Friends School, AIM Academy, Cliveden of the National Trust, and the Foundation Board of the Wissahickon Charter School. Prior board service includes Friends Council on Education, Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools, Steppingstone Scholars, and Pennsylvania Association of Independent School’s Commission on Accreditation.

Critical to Darryl’s leadership is a commitment of personal and institutional service and supporting individuals and schools in meaningful ways. He has participated on and led many accreditation teams, mentored many aspiring and established school leaders across the country, and is a sought-after speaker in K-12 and higher education.

Education & Interests

A graduate of Friends Select School in Philadelphia, he earned a B.A. in Honors Liberal Arts and a B.S. in Social Studies Education from Villanova University. He holds an M.A. in Educational Administration and Ph.D. in Educational Administration, Institutional, and Policy Studies from the University of Chicago.

With two college-age children, Darryl and his wife Gail Sullivan, an OB-GYN, are now left – to their own devices at their home outside of Philadelphia – with their dog Nova and Alvin, their youngest son’s horse, at a nearby barn.