John Toolan

Vice President, Executive Search

John’s passion for the nonprofit sector spans more than three decades. While he was first introduced to Advancement as a college student, his career opportunities and volunteer work cemented his dedication to the industry.


His Advancement achievements at a large public university and at a small private college honed his deep understanding of the unique needs of higher education and the importance of strong leadership to build teams and drive results.


John decided to turn his talents toward recruitment and, prior to joining Cooper Coleman, spent six years in a leadership role building a boutique firm specializing in nonprofit executive search. During his tenure, the company was recognized by Forbes and Statista as one of America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms. It also received recognition from Hunt Scanlon as Top 50 Higher Education Recruiters, Top 60 Nonprofit Recruiters, and HR/Diversity Recruiting Power 65.


John enjoys partnering with organizations in many social impact sectors. He has filled various leadership roles in education, healthcare, NGOs, and other nonprofits. His career has allowed him to work with some of the largest and most prestigious public and private universities, premier healthcare organizations, prominent grant-making organizations, small private colleges, and rising nonprofits.


John is a Certified Diversity and Inclusion Recruiter. His expertise in Advancement, best search practices, and new business development are a great addition to Cooper Coleman. He and his wife reside in Los Angeles, CA, where they enjoy traveling, watching baseball games, and spending time with family and friends.



Bachelor of Science, Communications – Eastern Connecticut State University

Certified Diversity + Inclusion Recruiter