Jobs: Chief Operating Officer

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National Headquarters, New York

Based in New York City, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) will serve in a new position designed to guide the organization’s national growth to $25M in operating revenue over the next three years. As the right-hand to the CEO, the COO will be a change leader who enables Lambda Legal to achieve its plans for expansion and increased impact during a key period of organizational transition. As a trusted partner to the CEO in making organizational decisions, the COO will be the go-to person on the Executive Team for ensuring effective and efficient day-to-day operations and identifying solutions to emerging problems. The COO will play a critical role across all departments and offices in helping the organization achieve its mission and embody its values, building collaboration and communication across functional and regional lines, and ensuring operational effectiveness.

With a matrix of functional departments and regional expertise, there is a challenge and an opportunity to take advantage of Lambda Legal’s national reach. The COO will bring skills to help each office deliver maximum value for regional communities, while leveraging the resources of a tight-knit national organization.

Key Responsibilities

  • Build the organization’s infrastructure to scale: manage finance, human resources, information technology, and physical plant of an established, financially stable organization in a period of growth and transition
  • Act as a thought partner to the CEO and serve as a motivational coach and guide to staff
  • Evaluate and drive organizational development, change management, and race equity transformation within the organization
    • Oversee skills-building for all employees and build training into the Lambda Legal culture
    • Develop effective mechanisms to manage performance and accountability to goals
    • Co-create a culture in which race equity is a primary lens and excellence is a constant expectation
  • Assess and design a successful management structure for Lambda Legal’s six national offices
  • Maintain responsibility for Lambda Legal’s budget and financial planning; oversee and evaluate current operational spending, areas of savings and risk, developing aligned strategies to address each


The COO will be a creative and determined problem solver, diplomatic change agent, and an expert in understanding organizational dynamics inherent in a geographically and demographically diverse organization. This is an excellent opportunity for a proven leader to join a mission-driven team at a critical time in the organization’s growth and the nation’s history.

Required Professional Experience

  • Minimum 15 years of leadership experience in strategy and operations for mission-driven organizations or government agencies
  • Strong expertise in driving organizational change, capacity-building, and organizational development, including effectively managing organizational growth and sustainability
  • Demonstrated knowledge of best practices and experience in building diverse, inclusive, and engaged workplaces
  • Management acumen with experience building and leading a team of high-capacity senior executives and employees at all levels of an organization
  • Deep project management experience with ability to take a concept to fruition and to execute for success
  • Experience playing a leadership role in organizations with remote offices and staff

Ideal Personal and Professional Characteristics

  • Commitment to the mission and values of Lambda Legal (specific LGBTQ/HIV rights is preferred but not required)
  • Exceptional emotional intelligence and professional maturity
  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity with a lens on race equity; comfort working in a gender-fluid environment and with diverse constituencies
  • Enthusiasm and optimism regarding organizational change processes with a positive attitude
  • Collaborative workstyle that enables partnership and engagement with others at all levels of the organization, as well as with key external stakeholders
  • Comfort demonstrating confidence and appropriate assertiveness as an organizational leader, with the ability to make hard decisions and communicate them to staff and stakeholders
  • Ability to effectively communicate with and engage staff at all levels of the organization, in large and small meetings, as well as one-on-one
  • Exceptional communications skills, including interpersonal and written communication and the ability to be an excellent listener
  • Ability to travel domestically (about 30% of the time)

Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Generous vacation package available.


Lambda Legal has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Melissa Madzel here.

Lambda Legal is committed to further building and maintaining a staff that reflects the full range and diversity of LGBTQ, HIV, and allied communities, and is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, transgender and gender-nonconforming people, women, people with abilities in multiple languages, immigrants, people with disabilities, and anyone living with HIV are encouraged to apply.