Charles Fields

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Charles Fields is the Chief Operating Officer for Lambda Legal, the country’s largest and oldest legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of all lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV.

Charles brings to Lambda Legal deep experience as a forward-thinking business professional who has rejuvenated businesses in the technology, healthcare/pharmaceutical, insurance, energy, financial services and the public sector by contributing his expertise in corporate planning, execution, operations and organizational change management.  Charles’ proficiency in solving long-term business challenges has led to the transformations of government agencies and key divisions of large corporations into profit centers and growth engines.

Following a distinguished business career, Fields was tapped by New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to become Deputy Secretary of State for New York in 2015.  Overseeing the two largest Department of State divisions, Licensing and Corporations, Charles successfully worked to as a senior member of the Governor’s Taskforce to address and solve worker exploitation of thousands of workers in the nail salon industry.

Leveraging his professional training, Charles also successfully restructured the New York State Athletic Commission and helped enable NYSAC to successfully sanction and operate professional mixed martial arts in New York State in less than six months.  The state’s first event in November 2016, UFC 205, attracted a sell-out crowd of 20,427 and generated a record $17.7 million in ticket sales, breaking the previous MSG record of $10.8 million set in 1999.  It also was one of the most viewed pay-per-view events in UFC history.

Charles has worked with a non-profit organization focused on rewriting the rules of urban education for students of all learning abilities and transforming an entire community; he guided the Executive Director on operations and financial matters to ensure the sustainability of a charter school in Harlem.  His work has included providing decision-making framework and best-practice problem-solving techniques.

Charles holds an MBA in Finance and Management Strategy from Columbia Business School and a BA in Economics from Boston University.  He has lived and worked abroad in Africa, Europe and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Away from work, Charles is an accomplished triathlete (completed Ironman competitions), certified professional ski instructor/race coach, and golfer.