Cooper Coleman Places John E. Roane, Jr. as Chief Operating Officer of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund

CHICAGO, IL – Cooper Coleman LLC has placed John Roane as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at New York City-based Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund (Lambda Legal). A national search led by Johnny Cooper, Founder and Principal of the growing firm, identified Roane, an accomplished nonprofit executive specializing in building and continually improving organizational operations in the corporate and nonprofit sectors.

In this new position, as of June 21, 2022, Roane joins Lambda Legal’s Executive Team, leading the transformation of its organizational and operational efficiency. John supports the Executive, Senior, and internal teams in ensuring Lambda Legal has the operational infrastructure to achieve its mission.

“With LGBTQ+ rights under attack nationwide, I’m committed to further strengthening the administrative and operational functions for Lambda Legal’s critical work to ensure all LGBTQ+ people—especially trans people, people of color, and youth—are protected,” said John Roane. “I’m looking forward to helping lead and support Lambda Legal’s inspiring team of litigators, communicators, and strategists.”

Overseeing the Finance, Operations + Risk Management, Human Resources, and Information Technology departments, John will help lead the organization, in partnership with CEO, Kevin Jennings, through a period of considerable growth as Lambda Legal approaches its 50th year and aims for an even more significant impact over the next 50 years. John assumes responsibility for guiding the organization’s execution of its strategic plan and facilitating organization-wide and cross-functional change management efforts.

“We are thrilled to have John join our team as our next Chief Operating Officer. He is an impressive professional with extensive experience in nonprofit management, system building, and staff development,” said Kevin Jennings, Lambda Legal CEO. “John will be a key member of our team as we continue to fight for full equality for LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV under the law in every state in this country.”

Most recently, John served five years as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of AIDS United, an organization that advocates for people living with and vulnerable to HIV and the organizations that support them. In that time, he leveraged his professional expertise within mission-driven organizations to transition AIDS United to a primarily virtual office with tremendous cost reductions. John launched his professional career at the Children’s Fund, where he began his specialization in nonprofit management, enterprise system development and implementation, and staff development. This experience led to an officer role with SunTrust Bank, where he was responsible for transferring traditional banking services to electronic delivering platforms, including ATMs, 24/7 call centers, and online banking. Following his relocation to Washington, DC, John joined the staff of Council Member Jack Evans’s and oversaw the council member’s office operations and mayoral campaign. John later transitioned to the DC association community and served 17 years at the executive level, primarily in the role of Chief Operating Officer, for three associations: Association of American Medical Colleges, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.

John holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. He has extensive volunteer experience that includes serving on three boards: Fan Free Health Clinic in Richmond, VA, Us Helping Us, and the Finance and Administration Roundtable in DC, in addition to his volunteer service to Food and Friends and Dog World Rescue. In his spare time, John enjoys spending time with his husband, two kids, and two dogs.

About Cooper Coleman LLC
Cooper Coleman LLC is a full-service recruiting and consulting firm partnering exclusively with nonprofit organizations, foundations, and research and academic institutions to drive meaningful growth. Its team moves organizations forward by placing the right leaders in the right roles at the right time and helps to strengthen their management and fundraising capacity to amplify their mission and impact.

Cooper Coleman partners with clients spanning the social sector, including those focused on civil rights, global health, performing arts, building families through adoption, LGBTQ+ issues, among others.

Co-Founder and Principal Bill Coleman has more than 25 years’ experience in retained executive search, including leading his own firm, Coleman Search Consulting LLC, for more than ten years until its sale in 2018. After a few years as Managing Director for Dressler Search Group, he has partnered with his son-in-law to establish a firm that prioritizes making the essential services of executive search accessible to organizations across the social sector, knowing the transformational impact having the right leaders in the right roles can have on an organization and its mission.

For more information on Cooper Coleman LLC, visit their website at and find them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram:


About Lambda Legal:
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work.

Since 1973, Lambda Legal has used impact litigation and other advocacy tools to decriminalize same-sex relationships; challenge discrimination against LGBTQ people and people living with HIV in the workplace, in the home, in schools, in health care, and in the military; and protect LGBTQ families, including by winning and defending marriage equality. Clients are not charged for legal representation or advocacy, and Lambda Legal receives no government funding. Headquartered in New York City, Lambda Legal has regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

Lambda Legal believes in serving the full breadth of the LGBTQ and HIV communities requires cultural competency and enthusiasm for diversity of all kinds. To be successful, the organization approaches its work with an understanding that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is not the only obstacle to achieving full formal and lived equality for LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV; rather, it recognizes the intersectional nature of discrimination, specifically including biases based on race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, education, and class. In light of this reality, Lambda Legal prioritizes awareness and proactive commitment to counteracting these biases and their compounding effects.

For more information on Lambda Legal, visit

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