Blackhawke Leadership

Nikki Blacksmith

Nikki Blacksmith, Ph.D.

Washington, DC
Co-Founder &
Chief Executive Officer

As an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, Dr. Nikki Blacksmith has worked across industries, helping organizations attract and select high-quality employees, entrepreneurs, and leaders. Her research and consulting focuses on understanding the way personality and cognitive ability predict decision-making and job performance in startups and other organizations.

She has published over 60 different conference papers, book chapters, and journal articles. Her scientific research has been published in top-tier publications including the Journal of Business and Psychology, Personality and Individual Differences, Journal of Personality Assessment, and Intelligence. Her research has also been featured in many media outlets including New York MagazineReal Simple Magazine, and Bustle.

Dr. Blacksmith is currently a research fellow at the Army Research Institute for Behavioral and Social Sciences and an adjunct faculty member at American University in Washington, DC.

Mo McCusker

Mo McCusker, Ph.D.

Washington, DC
Co-Founder &
Chief Operations Officer

Dr. Mo McCusker is an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist who has spent the last decade working with and studying leaders and teams in organizations from a wide variety of sectors, including corporate Fortune 500, medical, legal, academic, military, and non-profit. Mo’s research aims to understand and improve leader emergence and effectiveness, team communication and conflict, and team diversity and inclusion. She also has expertise in non-traditional data analytical research methods, which lays the foundation for the insights she generates.

She has published over 30 different journal articles, scientific conference papers, and book chapters. She has earned several awards and grants for scholarly research from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Virginia Tech, and the Department of Defense. She holds a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Virginia Tech and a B.A. in Psychology and French from Georgetown University.

Ben Hawkes

Ben Hawkes

London, UK
Co-Founder &
Chief Product Officer

With over two decades experience of psychological assessment, Ben has designed and delivered solutions for many of the worlds’ best known financial, tech, healthcare and retail companies throughout the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific

Ben has held leadership roles in assessment and HR technology, including Consulting Director for Kenexa and Global Head of Content for the psychological assessment services of IBM.

Ben was the founder and Managing Director of Mindsight Ltd, a consulting practice specialising in assessment and talent analytics. He also serves as Selection Assessment Lead for Shell International, overseeing the company’s global use of psychological assessments for hiring.