Chief Operating Officer

Coqual is a New York-based think tank and consultancy that conducts research, builds community, and advises companies to design diverse, inclusive workplaces where every person belongs.

Coqual currently works with 100+ companies, many in the Fortune 500, and is organized along three pillars:

  • Coqual’s Task Force of member companies – a community of global business leaders who are committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity.
  • Groundbreaking research and publications on the most important issues in diversity and inclusion.
  • Advisory services through our consulting group, which helps companies implement Coqual research.

The Role

The Chief Operating Officer, reporting to the CEO, will have overall operational responsibility for Coqual’s programs and business lines, as well as its internal operations. The board and CEO are looking for a seasoned and strategic leader with experience scaling an organization, leading teams, and shaping culture. The COO will partner closely with the CEO and other members of the leadership team to chart Coqual’s future growth and ensure its success. The successful candidate will work collaboratively with a high-performance management team to make smart, impactful business decisions, build on organizational culture, and set strategic direction. This is an exciting opportunity for someone with the skills, sensitivity, and personal confidence to tap into the power that each member of our talented team brings to our mission.


The COO will have both internal and external facing responsibilities.

Serve as the internal leader of the organization:

  • Provide strong day-to-day leadership presence for all staff; bridge client-facing and back-end operational teams and support an open-door policy among all staff; ensure company is living its values in approach to internal diversity, equity, and inclusion practices
  • Lead Coqual’s people strategy, instilling a coaching and development culture; upgrade human resources functions including: learning and development, compensation and benefits, employee relations, performance evaluation, and recruiting
  • Oversee the financial status of the organization, including development of long- and short-range financial plans; ensuring sound financial controls are in place; and cash, investment, and asset management approaches reflect the operational and strategic needs of the company
  • Serve as primary risk officer of the organization: Ensure legal and regulatory compliance, evaluate and update strength of data security architecture, partner with legal counsel to negotiate contracts that minimize risk to company, and maintain strong checks and balances throughout the company’s operations
  • Oversee the strengthening of company’s infrastructure and operations; scope out the next level of information technology and systems to position company for smart growth
  • Create and promote a positive work culture that supports consistency and high quality and ensures Coqual is an inspiring workplace for its passionate team members

Strengthen Coqual’s market position and deepen its impact:

  • In collaboration with existing management team, provide overall business leadership and direction; coach leaders in the organization as they refine and implement Coqual’s offerings
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with key internal and external stakeholders
  • Partner with CEO and Communications team to formulate and execute comprehensive marketing, brand, and business development strategies that will ensure message consistency, drive revenue, and enhance mission impact

Drive Coqual’s strategic vision:

  • Collaborate with the CEO, leadership team, and the board to refine and implement Coqual’s strategy and vision while ensuring that the budget, staff, and priorities are aligned to execute successfully on vision
  • Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board; support the work of board committees and ensure open communication about the measurement of financial, programmatic, and impact performance against stated milestones and goals


We are seeking a candidate that has proven experience in scaling organizations and a demonstrated ability to both lead and build the capabilities of a driven and bright team. Candidates should bring significant content knowledge and experience in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Specific qualifications:

Work Experience:

  • 20+ years of experience, with 10+ in senior leadership in the corporate or nonprofit sector
  • More than 15 years of experience directly managing and growing successful teams

Area Experience:

Business Acumen — Results-proven track record of exceeding goals and a bottom-line orientation; high level of business acumen including successful P&L management; evidence of the ability to consistently make good decisions through a combination of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment

Strategy — Strong business strategy acumen; ability to lead at the vision level; anticipate future trends, risks, and opportunities and incorporate them into planning and operations

Content Knowledge — Deep content knowledge and experience in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly in the corporate setting

General Management — Thorough understanding of finance, IT, legal, and administration; broad experience with the full range of business functions including strategic development and planning, budgeting, business analysis, finance, information technology, human resources, and marketing. Understanding of nonprofit culture and a purpose-driven team a must

People — Experience managing human resources function including personnel, compensation, and recruiting; ability to effectively build organizational capacity and scale for growth

Leadership — Exceptional capacity for managing and leading people; ability to connect to staff both on an individual level and in large groups; capacity to enforce accountability, develop and empower top-notch leaders from the bottom up, lead from the top down, cultivate entrepreneurship, and learn the strengths and development areas of the team to put people in a position to succeed


  • High degree of creativity, thought leadership, and awareness of global trends and issues in DE&I, business, and economy
  • Action oriented—enjoys working hard and looks for challenges; able to act and react as necessary, even if limited information is available; not afraid to take charge of a situation; can overcome resistance and take unpopular stands when necessary
  • Solid judgment, intuition, and common sense
  • A persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent public speaking skills
  • Passion, humility, integrity, and a commitment to and passion for Coqual’s mission