A Beacon Of
For All

Archer~Martin Associates, rooted in the legacy of Nantucket's entrepreneurial women, stands as a testament to advancing diverse and inclusive leadership in higher education.

Evolving from a search firm to a powerhouse in executive coaching, their mission is to uplift women, women and men of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and majority men in higher-education leadership positions.


From Our Founder,

Nancy Martin

More than 40 years ago I flew to Nantucket to discover, for myself, the place Herman Melville wrote about in Moby Dick. I discovered so much more. As I stepped onto the tarmac, I felt the compelling power and inspiration of place.

I learned that Nantucket in the early 1800s was a place where women built and ran the island's businesses and schools while their men traveled the world in search of whales—away for years at a time.

Living on this island, the people quickly found in themselves the fortitude, resilience, patience, and courage required to live independent lives while depending on each other for survival and happiness.

The whaling industry brought people to Nantucket from across the globe—the Azores, Africa, and the South Pacific—creating both a global economy and a truly diverse community of belonging.

In the early 1840s, Maria Mitchell—the Nantucket Atheneum’s librarian, the first woman to discover a comet, and founding faculty member in astronomy at Vassar—met Frederick Douglas as he arrived at the Atheneum to deliver his first notable abolitionist speech on the island, launching his life-long career. They became friends and leaders in advancing social justice.

Nantucket is a place that has long inspired diversity and inclusion in leadership.

Archer~Martin Today

While we began as a search firm, by 2015, we realized the complexities of the search process demanded a new approach. Now, we specialize in coaching individuals through intricate search processes and challenging environments.

Our mission? To elevate diverse voices in leadership. Our success is evident in our statistics, showcasing a significant increase in women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals in executive roles. Additionally, we're proud to support and advance the careers of straight majority men.

+ Years Of Experience.
+Clients Served.
+ Positions Filled.

Our Values

Our executive coaches live by and coach our clients by these guiding principles:

Live and Lead Through The Theory of Appreciative Inquiry
Find the positive in people and organizations through questions and conversations.
Continuously Improve Emotional and Social Intelligence Acumen
Make good judgements and decisions, because 80% of a leader’s ability is grounded in Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence.
Communicate Clearly and Listen Closely
Listen first, then think before acting or speaking.
Practice Creativity
Focus on the discipline of continuous innovation.
Sharpen Narratives
Be the storyteller and teach others to tell their stories.
Strive For A Healthy Ego
Find the balance between courage and humility.

Our Clients

Archer Martin Associates has a distinguished history, both as executive coaches and search advisors, of serving a diverse array of esteemed institutions, from renowned universities like MIT, Yale, and Dartmouth to prestigious organizations like WGBH and the American Film Institute. Our clientele encompasses a variety of roles, from presidents, provosts, and vice presidents at institutions like Babson College, Bentley University, and the University of Virginia, to finance and administrative officers at Cornell University and Gettysburg College.

What Our Clients Are Saying

Nancy, you are magical. You make people out of who they are. You touch and better many lives—not only the ones you coach, but the lives and careers of those impacted by the ones you place in administrative positions in higher-ed. I cannot thank you enough for how much you have changed my life in the past few years. You helped me discover the part of me in my heart that I did not know was there. This is your magic power. I am so blessed to have you by my side as I embark on the journey through the door you opened for me. I will work hard to make you proud.”

Successful Coaching Client

Worked with Nancy

"My experience working with Jeff to sharpen how I articulate my experience and expertise has been nothing short of exceptional. He worked closely with me throughout the process, digging into analysis of the problem context, and providing meaningful insights and consistent support. Jeff brings an impressive background to this work, and carries it out with enthusiasm and authenticity. His depth of knowledge about the higher education landscape, leadership, and how administrators' experiences align with and extend institutional capacities was key to the success of our work together. I look forward to continuing to work with Jeff on future projects."

Coaching Client

Worked with Jeff

“Ever since we met at the conference in last March, I have felt an indescribable force from you. You have been the force pushing me forward. You have been the force helping me build confidence. You have been the force providing all the professional mentorship and have sharpened my skills in writing the cover letters and CV. You have been the force that rendered the most important advice the night before my campus interview for the provost position. In a word, you have been the reason that I got the job!

Coaching Client After Successful Presidential Placement

Worked with Josie

“Even though I had colleagues whom I knew would offer advice, I decided to have a professional coach in pursuing a university presidency and I chose Lorna Edmundson. I credit Lorna’s coaching with much of my success. Her extensive experience and supportive, honest, and constructively critical advice and insights made all the difference. With her help, I was well-prepared and knew exactly what to expect throughout the process. I was a semi-finalist for four of the six presidencies that I applied for, a finalist in two, and I found exactly the right position.

Successful Presidential Candidate Coaching Client

Worked with Lorna

Our Executive Coaching Services:
Unlocking Success Through Strategic Transitions

Whether you're aspiring to a new role or seeking to enhance your current performance, our coaching services offer intentional guidance in leadership, communication, and transformation. From promoting internal candidates to refining existing talents, we empower individuals to chart a path to success.

Talk With Us

Executive Search Coaching

When individuals are poised to embark on a journey toward roles such as college or university president or senior administrator, our coaching services are tailored to guide them through every crucial step.

Our expert coaching encompasses crafting compelling CVs and cover letters, honing effective interview strategies, and ultimately securing the positions our clients are truly passionate about.

Once an offer is made, our support extends to contract negotiation coaching, making the transition process a seamless and integral part of their employment agreement.

Transition Management Coaching

When we view the process of transition as the transformation of a newcomer into a respected member of the institution's culture, occupying a prestigious role within the community, it becomes evident that success in this endeavor is neither guaranteed nor immediate.

Achieving successful transitions requires a deliberate and purposeful approach, wherein precise actions are taken to achieve the desired results.

Based on our extensive experience, we have found that intentional transitions are exceptionally effective, especially when the president, vice-president, or dean is promoted from within the organization.

Leadership Coaching

Sometimes our coaches work with an individual to enhance fundraising, finance, enrollment, people-management, or general leadership skills. Other times we work with a dean or provost to build their team.

We also coach department chairs individually and in workshops to reinvent their approach to searching more aggressively and intentionally to build a more diverse faculty.

Finally, we work with presidents, provosts, and deans to assist them in changing a passive approach to a more proactive one to diversify staff and faculty at their institutions.

Our Esteemed Team

A~MA boasts a team of five distinguished executive coaches, including two former college presidents, a provost and dean, a vice president of enrollment and marketing, and a seasoned search consultant. Our publications, such as Opening Doors: The Higher Ed-Leadership Playbook and Career Aspirations and Expectations, offer invaluable insights into the world of higher education leadership. Our credibility is rooted in the expertise and accomplishments of our team. We're proud to be recognized as a certified women-owned business in every state where we have operated.

Nancy Martin

Nancy Martin


Nancy is the founder of A~MA and an alumna of the Academy for Educational Development (Academic Searches competition). She served as a senior search consultant at the search firm affiliated with Fidelity Investments and spent six years on the Middle States Higher Education Accreditation Commission. She has the insider’s perspective on how higher education search firms really work! In 2003, Ms. Martin published her well-known book, Career Aspirations and Expectations with co-author Jenny Bloom, followed by Opening Doors, The Higher-Ed Leadership Playbook, co-authored with Josefina Baltodano, 2021.

Full Bio

Binth Rustad


Binth lives on Nantucket and is a co-founder of Archer~Martin Associates. She was involved in A~MA as an executive search consultant in education since 1986. Blending her training in counseling psychology and an early career in finding resources for change and healing within the criminal justice system, Ms. Rustad brought to A~MA an innate skill for finding solutions to challenges and a love of networking, which was a natural fit to be a search consultant and coach. She continues to work with A~MA as an executive coach and also serves as institutional liaison with our externally located A~MA consultants and the institutions they serve.

Full Bio
Binth Rustad
Josefina Castillo Baltodano, J.D.

Josefina Castillo Baltodano, J.D.

Senior Principal

Josefina is the founding director of the Executive Leadership Academy at the University of California, Berkeley. The Executive Leadership Academy (ELA) stands as a premier program for professional growth, empowering forward-thinking higher education leaders to navigate a dynamic, multicultural, and post-pandemic academic landscape. The Executive Leadership Academy was founded by Josefina in collaboration with AAHHE and UC Berkeley. She served as the president of Marian University in Wisconsin and is a long-term faculty member at UC Berkeley. She is an award-winning recipient for her fundraising and marketing expertise.

Full Bio

Lorna Duphiney Edmundson, ED.D

Senior Principal

President Emerita of Wilson College and a Fulbright Scholar to Japan, Lorna has four decades of senior leadership experience at colleges and universities in the U.S., Japan, and France, including: Columbia University; the American University of Paris; Marymount, Colby Sawyer and Wilson Colleges. She is the recipient of many honors and awards. She is especially known for her track record in creating sustainable change in higher education as it affects women, girls, people of color, and the environment and for her success in fundraising, finance, intercultural education, and leveraging resources through cross-industry partnerships.

Full Bio
Lorna Duphiney Edmundson, ED.D
Jeffery Papa

Jeffery Papa, Ph.D.

Senior Principal

With over 40 years of experience under his belt, Jeff is no stranger to higher education. During his career, Jeff has served colleges and universities in various capacities, including administrator, consultant, educator, search consultant, and executive coach. As an enrollment and marketing consultant, Jeff worked directly with over 150 colleges and universities on such notable issues as strengthening enrollment and marketing positions, as well as developing and enhancing institutional brand strength. Jeff’s colleagues and coaching clients often describe him as energetic, compassionate, collaborative, insightful, and forward-thinking.

Full Bio

Pearl Bartelt, Ph.D.

Senior Principal

Dr. Bartelt is a Distinguished Fellow with the American Association of Colleges and Universities with a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Sociology. She has been the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Central Connecticut State University following her role of dean of liberal arts and sciences at Rowan University. As a founding member and past president, she continues to serve on the board of the International Communal Studies Association. She has a wide range of expertise she shares with her coaching academics.

Full Bio
Pearl Bartelt
Patty Kepenash

Patty Kepenash


Patty honed her coaching and organizing skills by merging these talents with her intuitive ability to help others be the best of themselves. She serves Archer~Martin Associates as consultant, writing and editing specialist, and administrative office and digital archives manager. Patty brings A~MA her entrepreneurial spirit and experience as well as her impeccable attention to detail and organizational forte. She utilizes her interpersonal skills, computer skills, writing skills, and community involvement to ensure the efficient and organized movement of information among A~MA consultants, clients, and candidates.

Full Bio