SAGE: Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders
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Chief Operating Officer

The Client

Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) is the country's oldest and largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. A national organization, with a mission to lead in addressing issues related to LGBT aging, SAGE offers older adults a wide array of direct services and activities to support their emotional, physical and general wellness in community; provides consumer resources for LGBT older adults and their caregivers; advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people; and, provides cultural competency training for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging and SAGE Care, its growing social enterprise model.

SAGE was founded in New York City in 1978 by a small group of LGBT activists who recognized that LGBT people did not have the supports they needed to age in good health and with financial security. In its early years, SAGE created numerous original programs, many of which are still in existence today and have been duplicated around the country. SAGE’s direct service program in New York City now includes five senior centers, a robust case management program, and a variety of other services; in addition, SAGE is in the early stages of partnering with local developers to build New York City’s first affordable senior housing with an LGBT focus. 

Over time, a growing collection of local organizations and individuals gradually emerged across the country to help address the widespread social isolation, financial insecurity and health care disparities facing LGBT older adults. And this network increasingly turned to SAGE for its pioneering programs and work to improve the lives of LGBT older adults. SAGE began to build a nationwide presence, becoming the nation’s leader on LGBT aging issues. Today, SAGE coordinates a growing network of 30 SAGE affiliates in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

From the beginning, SAGE recognized that it was not enough to provide programs and services to LGBT older people. In order to create lasting change, they needed to ensure that policymakers—from city halls and state capitols, to Capitol Hill and the White House—take into full account the needs of LGBT older adults when creating aging policies. SAGE has partnered with state and local organizations around the country to drive advocacy at the state and federal levels, and solidified partnerships with key federal agencies, such as the Administration on Aging, and key national organizations like AARP and the National Hispanic Council on Aging, to transform the systems that support older Americans.

Governed by an 18-person Board of Directors and operating with an annual budget in excess of $10 million, SAGE is headquartered in New York City with additional staff in Washington, DC, Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Miami, Oakland and Los Angeles.


The Position

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Operating Officer (COO) will serve as a trusted thought partner and strategic advisor to the CEO. The COO will endeavor with the CEO to build an organization and culture that is shaped by SAGE’s fundamental values of diversity & equity, collaborative teamwork and partnership (internal and external), top performance, innovation, LGBT older voices come first, and dignity and respect. To ensure top performance, SAGE strives for disciplined strategies and governance, disciplined people, disciplined allocation of resources, and disciplined execution.   

With responsibility for organizational planning and operations, the COO will bring clarity, functionality and accountability to SAGE’s goals and processes. The Successful Candidate will become a part of the Executive Team and will oversee 10 staff in Finance, Facilities, Human Resources and IT. S/he will manage the following direct reports: 

  • Chief Program Officer (co-supervision with CEO)
  • Chief Enterprise & Innovation Officer (co-supervision with CEO)
  • Director of Finance
  • Director of Operations
  • Human Resources Officer

The COO will be responsible for overseeing the operationalizing of a complex strategic plan, driving Staff to translate organizational goals into departmental action plans and individual work plans. S/he will lead the creation and overhaul of systems and the refinement of policies to support the organization’s continued growth.

Additionally, the successful candidate will create structures and foster fulsome and effective communication to ensure a highly effective relationship between COO and CEO and to drive collaboration across all agency departments. The COO will assume CEO-level responsibilities as required by CEO absence, to support an external facing CEO with an aggressive travel and meeting schedule.



  • Develop a close, mutually trusting and synergistic partnership with the CEO through effective communication and alignment on organizational vision, values and priorities
  • Advise CEO of business risks and opportunities; provide analytic assessment of organizational performance; keep CEO apprised of strategic plan progress
  • Lead and oversee organizational strategies for annual budget, resource allocation and capitalization of reserves and Strategic Plan Funds
  • Engage Board of Directors around finance, audit, investment and planning issues and leverage their individual areas of expertise
  • Support the Board of Directors with clear, forward-looking reports, presentations and ongoing communication that provide context, anticipate needs and address questions
  • Focus and maximize Executive Team engagement
  • Leverage the individual expertise and collective wisdom of the Executive Team
  • Lead implementation of strategic plan and related annual plans and budgets
  • Develop system for tracking and reporting on the goals of the strategic plan
  • Provide leadership to strengthen processes and increase efficiencies
  • Oversee the integration of organizational databases, insuring funder compliance and staff training
  • Develop systems and provide support to build staff capacity, encourage leadership development, and measure personnel performance
  • In consultation with Executive Team colleagues, develop and oversee implementation of relevant departmental policies and standard operating procedures (SOPS)
  • Advise and support the CEO in developing Board-related SOPS
  • Oversee legal contracts, leases and other legal agreements, and business insurance procurement and management
  • Consult with legal counsel, insurance and real estate professionals as needed
  • Create opportunities to enhance relationships with the agency’s partners and funders
  • Consistent with SAGE’s commitment, apply a strong diversity and equity lens to all aspects of the COO’s work
  • Model best practices and instill organizational values across all levels of the agency


Professional Requirements 

The successful candidate will have a minimum of 10 years of seasoned executive leadership. This will include demonstrated success providing the direction, analysis and structures to realize strategic goals. The ideal candidate will be a confident leader energized by ambitious goals and driven to exceed expectations. Other requirements include: 

  • A skilled team-builder who will stimulate SAGE’s commitment to collaborative teamwork and partnership
  • An assertive leader who will hold colleagues accountable to individual, departmental and organizational goals
  • An adept relationship-builder capable of developing effective partnerships with pro bono resource providers, vendors and other professionals
  • A proficient negotiator able to maximize agency resources, mitigate risk and enhance deliverables
  • A forward-looking strategist with the ability to assess, analyze and advise the CEO and Board on important financial and operational issues that could impact pursuit of SAGE’s strategic goals
  • Demonstrated capacity for thought leadership, including leadership on how to evolve non-profit approaches to adapt to emerging trends in the field
  • An understanding of innovative program and revenue models including experience developing and evaluating earned income enterprises
  • A Bachelor’s degree is required. A Master’s degree in a relevant field (e.g. M.B.A., M.P.A.) is preferred.


Personal Characteristics

Our client is seeking a strategic leader with operational expertise to increase efficiencies and enhance the functionality of a growing multi-disciplinary organization with multiple owned and leased properties and complex revenue streams. A commitment to entrepreneurialism, innovation and excellence are essential for success. The ideal candidate will thrive in an intense, fast-paced culture and will be motivated by the organization’s vision to create a better world for LGBT older adults.

The Chief Operating Officer must have strong partnership and collaboration skills and be an outstanding communicator, able to translate strategic goals into plans and drive plans into action. The successful candidate will have the analytic skills to identify issues and the practical skills to create solutions. The candidate will have an adaptive leadership style that is responsive to emergent needs while remaining focused on long-term goals and strategic priorities. The candidate must combine a commitment to rigor and excellence with the flexibility and adaptability that is essential for the success of a dynamic non-profit operating within a rapidly changing landscape. They must have the depth of experience, commitment to communication and reliability, and emotional intelligence to earn the confidence and trust of the CEO.



Our client is offering a competitive compensation package for this position with a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, life, short and long term disability, 401K, generous vacation and paid leave. Basic relocation expenses may be considered for the exceptional individual they are seeking.



This is an outstanding opportunity for an accomplished executive to join a highly-respected organization that is poised for transformation. The successful candidate will be part of a distinguished team, serving an organization with the highest standards of excellence. With operational oversight for a growing agency, the candidate will be integral in shaping the organization and defining its future.

For nearly 40 years, SAGE has provided essential services and a welcoming meeting place for LGBT older adults. It has also provided policy advocacy and cultural competency training to make systems responsive to the needs of LGBT older adults. The Chief Operating Officer will have the satisfaction of knowing their work will enrich and improve the lives of the growing number of LGBT older adults.



Please submit a brief cover letter and résumé as attachments via e-mail to:

Michelle Kristel, Partner

Joseph A. McCormack, Managing Partner


1775 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 110-202

Palm Springs, CA 92264


Tel 323 549-9200

Fax 323 549-9222              


Please note that your education, dates of employment, compensation and other information provided will be verified prior to an offer. 


Application Deadline: Open

Contact Us

305 Seventh Ave, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10001
212-741-2247 tel
212-366-1947 fax

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