Building Teams for the Leaders in Science and Innovation

Our Team


Kim First, President & CEO

Strategy and an eye on the bigger picture are hallmarks of Kim First’s tenure at The Agency Worldwide. A respected industry expert, she has worked closely with many of the world’s top executives and researchers within the biopharmaceutical and food & agriculture sectors on multi-year engagements. Through her collaborations, Kim has helped to build successful teams, structure competitive organizations and analyze market forces. Kim is a sought after authority, providing in-depth understanding of industry trends and their effect on a workforce, while offering unique candidate assessment and recruitment methodologies. Since becoming president and CEO in 2005, Kim has driven and cultivated The Agency’s unsurpassed commitment to connecting renowned leaders and innovators to address the demands of ever-expanding global and aging population. She has developed a dynamic, matrix-like team and a vast network of industry contacts who work together on a global scale to identify and attract the leading “passive” talent. Her sensitivities to the needs of the clients and candidates has driven the company’s successful placements – totaling hundreds of high-quality candidates over the decades for a myriad of life-altering teams at Fortune 500 organizations and start-up organizations alike. Kim joined The Agency as an executive recruiter in 1999, bringing with her a sophisticated understanding of complex corporations and their diverse business requirements that was developed over the years in her roles with The Walt Disney Company and Sony. Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, she graduated with honors from UCLA in Psychology and completed additional coursework at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Kim’s devotion to The Agency is only second to that of her husband and three young sons.

Jeff Appelbaum, EVP & COO

As EVP & COO, Jeff is responsible for The Agency’s business operations including strategy, IT, finance, and HR. Jeff started his career in the entertainment industry, holding various creative positions that led to prime time program development for the ABC/Walt Disney Company. He worked on the forefront of technology as director of post production for a company that produced programming for the World Wide Web at the dawn of the Internet revolution. Prior to joining The Agency in 2005, Jeff spent three years in a global project management role at CCH, Inc. where he spearheaded initiatives to redesign the company’s global suite of software products. Jeff is a Sacramento native and a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television with a bachelor’s degree in Critical Studies. Jeff’s affinity for the world of technology drives The Agency’s innovative culture while his strong leadership skills and amiable personality foster a passionate, fulfilling environment. He is involved in numerous boards and is an active member of Vistage. On the sideline, Jeff works as a college football referee, is an avid cyclist and fills many hours coaching his sons’ sports teams.

Karen Daniels MBA, VP Commercial Recruitment & Consulting

Karen leads the commercial recruitment efforts and to provide organizational consulting and benchmarking studies for clients. Karen is a seasoned commercial executive from the biopharma industry with over 18 years of experience with Amgen, Abbott and Baxter. Karen’s career spans marketing and sales leadership, strategic planning and analysis, pricing and promotions. As senior director for the world’s largest biotechnology company, Karen led the global commercialization effort for the blockbuster Aranesp launch across multiple indications, and held an executive positive in Corporate Accounts. Prior to joining Amgen, she was involved in product launches as Abbott and cost consulting work with large healthcare systems as well as provided pricing decision support tools and analysis for senior sales executives at Baxter. Karen has an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Tamir Halaban, Vice President

Tamir Halaban is responsible for managing key relationships with biopharmaceutical clients, mentoring recruiters and conducting searches on senior-level positions. Tamir joined The Agency in 2001 and over the course of his tenure has established himself as a lead recruiter in the field, focusing heavily on the global recruitment of top clinician scientists in the therapeutic areas of oncology, rheumatology, immunology and endocrinology.  Many influential industry leaders credit Tamir for connecting them to their current opportunities. Energetic, informed, and personable, Tamir draws inspiration from “collaborating with people who are changing lives,” and observes that, “people with the vision to succeed in these fields share the same inspirational energy as some of civilization’s most celebrated artists and inventors; it’s a spark that lasts throughout their careers and illuminates every aspect of their lives.” Born in New York, Tamir graduated from Yale University with a degree in Philosophy. Upon graduating, he made his way to Los Angeles where he began as a freelance journalist with regular assignments interviewing people with extraordinary and unique jobs. While not busy networking, Tamir can be found throwing fabulous dinner parties with his wife and spending hours playing with his son and daughter.

Pascale Melaye MS MBA RD, Group Director

The Agency Worldwide - Pascale MelayePascale joined The Agency Worldwide as Executive Search Director combining her passion for science with her expertise in market research and international business. Pascale brings a strategic, analytical, and global perspective to executive search-consulting and a unique viewpoint as a dietician to the food and agricultural science team. Originally from the Bordeaux region, Pascale has worked and lived throughout France, the UK, and the United States. She obtained an internationally accredited MBA from The Robert Gordon University in the UK and holds a MS in dietetics and a BS in nutrition from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. As a registered dietician Pascale worked for many years in community and clinical settings providing medical nutrition care in the areas of cardiovascular/respiratory medicine and geriatrics. When not watching her son swim for the Junior Olympic Team, Pascale can be found in the water herself as an active PADI dive-master or creating delicacies in the kitchen.

Dagmar Moss, Executive Search Director & Head of International Recruitment

Dagmar Moss joined The Agency in 1999, and every day leads with her passion for making a difference and connecting people around the globe. She loves meeting new people and is committed to creating connections, which are “truly advantageous to both candidates and our stellar clients!” During the course of her career at the company, she has spearheaded R&D, manufacturing, and commercial searches across Europe and the US.  She has personally been responsible for placing many renowned scientists and medical doctors in global leadership roles for Fortune 100 clients across therapeutic areas.  Dagmar has also been instrumental in the identification of top talent in the project management, manufacturing, and licensing & business development arenas. Originally from Germany, Dagmar is fluent in three languages and can “get around” in a few more. She graduated from California State University, Los Angeles, with degrees in English and German Literature. Dagmar started her career as an international correspondent for a global German Bank and later worked as an editor for the Los Angeles bureau of a German news agency. Her in-depth knowledge of the worldwide community made for a natural and easy transition into recruiting at The Agency, and she advances her acumen by staying abreast of trends and developments in the biopharmaceutical world. A dedicated wife, mother and grandmother, Dagmar enjoys travel, literature, art, cooking, hiking and yoga.

Susan Shoemaker PhD, VP Science & Client Services

Susan Shoemaker, PhD joined The Agency in 2005 bringing both an industry and academic perspective to the organization. Susan earned her doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego, after obtaining a bachelor’s of science in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. In her role as VP of Science & Client Services, she utilizes her 20 years of research and teaching in life sciences to develop proprietary approaches to sourcing from in-depth publication reviews to analysis of cutting edge technologies and topics in the healthcare industry. Susan is also responsible for educating The Agency team on the technical aspects of our searches and is called upon by client human resource teams to provide scientific consulting services. Susan maintains relationships with many of the leading graduate and fellowship programs advising post docs and fellows on potential careers in industry and attends many key conferences to stay abreast of the latest trends. Susan also happens to be an excellent critic of good movies and books, and creates magnificent homemade treats to the delight of her co-workers facilitating the identification of ideal candidates in the most efficient manner.