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Chief Operating Officer (COO)

POSITION:  Chief Operating Officer (COO)


The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With more than 20,000 members in 100 countries around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large.


The Academy is seeking a highly seasoned, strategic, financially astute, and operationally minded business professional with experience in successfully managing people and organizational growth.

Working with a dedicated and talented staff, he/she will provide direction on priorities and help maximize the effectiveness of NYAS’s programs and initiatives. Reporting into this position are 11 senior-level professionals responsible for all Academy programs (e.g., Membership, Publications, Conferences, Policy, and Innovation Challenges), as well as functional areas (e.g., Marketing/Communications, HR, Finance, IT, and Facilities). (The Development Team reports directly to the president/CEO, but the COO plays a crucial role in support of the president/CEO’s management of this team.)

The COO will counsel, mentor, and further develop the individuals in the above areas and help sustain a high-performance culture. Together with his/her staff, the COO will drive the implementation of the Academy’s strategy and ensure that goals are achieved, as measured by specific strategic metrics.

The COO also has responsibility for ensuring the financial well-being of the Academy through sound fiscal management. He/she will work in concert with the chief administrative officer and controller to ensure excellent cash-management practices, monitoring variances and making adjustments to the budget, as required. This position is responsible for all reporting to the Executive Committee of the Board and to its Finance and Audit Committees, on all financial matters related to budget, audit, compensation, and investments.

The COO will report to and work closely with the president/CEO, providing advice, support, and counsel on both short- and long-term issues. They will work together with the staff and the Board of Governors to further the mission and the vision of the Academy.


The specific responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to, the following:

Strategy and Leadership

  • Serve as strategic and operational thought partner to the CEO, providing advice, support, and counsel on short- and long-term issues
  • Drive the implementation of the Academy’s strategy through excellent project and portfolio management, resulting in the achievement of strategic goals and scalability of key programs and initiatives
  • Provide counsel on consolidation and/or further development of current initiatives, as well as help evaluate new opportunities, ensuring that they are in alignment with the Academy’s mission/strategy
  • With the president/CEO, set the fundraising strategy
  • Keep the CEO informed of all critical issues, including those related to budgeting and planning, cash flow, investments, audit, and other key projects and initiatives
  • Represent the Academy, as necessary, particularly in matters related to financial and funding concerns

Financial and Operational Management

  • Manage day-to-day operations: resolve issues through sound decision making and business practices
  • Manage and oversee the Academy’s fiscal well-being: develop and monitor annual budget; review cash/business forecasts, making timely corrections and adjustments, as required; ensure that appropriate policies, internal controls, accounting standards, and procedures are maintained
  • Manage and allocate critical and shared resources for maximum impact
  • Oversee organizational audits and all financial investments; ensure timely/accurate reporting of these and other financial data to the Executive Committee of the Board
  • Ensure that processes/infrastructure support the Academy’s growth strategically; continuously improve efficiency and productivity of operations
  • Implement best practices in critical areas (e.g., Programs, Finance, IT systems, HR, Marketing)

Management of Staff

  • Mentor and develop staff through a supportive and collaborative team approach, fostering cross-program synergy and coordination
  • Supervise staff performance via clear assignments of responsibilities; monitor and evaluate results based on well-defined goals/objectives
  • Clarify priorities and remove obstacles to achieving program results
  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the fundraising staff
  • Help manage funding opportunities and relationships through excellent communication/account management practices; keep on track program deliverables that have been promised in agreements
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement
  • Serve as staff liaison to the Executive Office

Board Liaison

  • Establish credibility regarding financial matters with the Board and especially with the Executive, Finance, and Audit Committees
  • Assist the president/CEO in motivating the governors to play productive roles in support of Academy’s development, scientific programming, and branding
  • Assist the president/CEO in supporting the Governance Committee


  • A bachelor’s degree (preferably in a scientific discipline) is required. An advanced degree in finance/accounting and/or management (M.B.A.) is highly desirable.


  • A minimum of 20 years of relevant experience, with 10+ years of experience as a COO/CFO/chief of staff/senior operations executive in a nonprofit organization, is required.

  • Experience in large and small businesses is desirable, as well as expertise in building/scaling up programs and scientific initiatives.

  • Broad-based businessperson, with strategic insight and proven success in creating business strategies and implementing them to achieve goals

  • Proven leadership skills and experience managing scientific and operational staff through well-established performance management skills; proven success in developing a high-performance work environment and culture

  • Successful management of organizational operating units, to include: Finance, HR, IT/Systems, Marketing and Communications, Facilities, etc.

  • Outstanding financial, analytical, and process skills; capable of synthesizing complex data and making sound recommendations. Business experience with funding coming from multiple sources is highly desirable.

  • Outstanding interpersonal and relationship-management skills; demonstrated success at cultivating good working relationships for/with presidents/CEOs and Boards
  • Outstanding communication skills, including the capability to actively listen and synthesize critical issues; ability to communicate and influence a variety of people and audiences

  • Proven project management/portfolio management skills; capable of establishing priorities and delivering high-quality work on a timely and cost-effective basis

  • A smart, insightful, dynamic strategic leader; a “self-starter” with the necessary drive and stamina to respond to the demands of the Academy by “rolling up his/her sleeves” and working collaboratively to achieve results

  • Unquestionable personal integrity; exudes credibility and professionalism; quickly builds confidence in others

  • Passionate and committed to the mission of the Academy


The position offers very competitive compensation and a comprehensive benefit package.


Applicants should send a current resume in Word format to:

Ms. Dale Corey

Director of Research

3D Leadership, LLC

The Academy is an Equal Opportunity Employer seeking a diverse workforce.