our ceo and founder

Drumm McNaughton | Higher Ed Consultant | Changing Higher Ed Podcasts | The Change Leader CEO

Drumm McNaughton,


Dr. Drumm McNaughton is a higher education expert, consultant, innovator, strategic management pioneer, merger/acquisition specialist, accreditation/turnaround expert, and governance professional. He has P&L experience in multiple industries, having stimulated transformation that propelled double-digit growth for colleges and universities, startups, and Fortune 500 companies. He has significant international experience, lived overseas for 19 years, and worked/traveled in 50+ countries.

He is frequently called on to solve some of the most challenging issues, including:

  • Getting higher education, colleges, and universities off probation from their accreditation bodies
  • Installing best practices board governance processes at higher education institutions
  • Facilitating strategic planning sessions that result in short term business and long-term strategic plans.

His change initiatives and counsel have resulted in over $500 million to organizations’ bottom line.


Dr. McNaughton is a highly sought-after higher education consultant with an impressive roster of clients serving both the private and public sector as well as Christian higher education institutions.

A representative list of his higher education consulting clients includes:

  • The Master’s University and Seminary
  • King Saud University
  • Chapman University
  • Central Michigan University
  • EC-Council University
  • Capella University
  • Trident University

In addition to his higher education consulting clients, he has worked and consulted to multiple other industries, including:

  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Fortune 500 companies such as Dell Computer and DuPont
  • High tech startups
  • Nonprofits including the US standards body for management consultants
  • Professional associations including the American Board of Orthodontics and Tennessee Dental Association
  • Military organizations such as the US Air Force Reserve and US Navy
  • NGOs including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.


He also served in the U.S. Navy as a Mission and Aircraft Commander for Navy reconnaissance aircraft, where he reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander.


In addition to consulting, he is an active independent board member, with 15+ years of board experience in multiple industries.

This list includes:

  • LIGS University (Chair, Nominating and Governance Committee)
  • International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (Board Secretary and Lead Director)
  • Institute of Management Consultants USA (multiple positions including Chair and CEO, Vice-Chair, Chair of Nominations Committee, and Chair of the Executive / Operations Committee)
  • Smarter Planet Enterprises Corp.
  • Guild


He is certified as a Governance Fellow by the National Association of Corporate Directors and has moderated two panels on education at the National Association of Corporate Directors’ Annual Global Leadership Summit in Washington, DC (2018 and 2019).

Dr. McNaughton has been recognized for excellence throughout his career, including been named Chair Emeritus, Fellow, and Life Member of the Institute of Management Consultants USA.


Dr. McNaughton earned his Ph.D. and MA in Human & Organizational Systems from the Fielding Graduate Institute and a BS in Physics from the U.S. Naval Academy.


He and his wife live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and he enjoys golf, traveling (especially to Hawaii), reading, and working out.