UUA announces new executive structure

UUA announces new executive structure

Harlan Limpert to become 'chief operating officer' as Kay Montgomery retires from office of executive vice president.


On July 1, the Rev. Harlan Limpert will become the chief operating officer of the Unitarian Universalist Association. This will be the first time the UUA has given a senior executive the title of COO; the new position will replace the office of the executive vice president, which Kay Montgomery has held since 1985.

After Montgomery announced in February that she would be retiring in June, UUA President Peter Morales hired an outside organizational consultant to review the structure of UUA staffing and to make recommendations to him.

As COO, Limpert will report directly to the president. There will no longer be an executive vice president. Two executives reporting to Limpert will round out the top staff: Tim Brennan, treasurer and chief financial officer, and the Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, who will lead the Office of Program and Strategy.

Cooley previously served as the director of Congregational Life. The Office of Program and Strategy will include the following staff groups: Congregational Life, Ministries and Faith Development, Multicultural Growth and Witness, Growth Strategies, Congregational Stewardship, International Office, and the UU College of Social Justice (which the UUA jointly administers with the UU Service Committee). A search will be launched to fill the director of Congregational Life position.

Beacon Press, which had previously reported to the executive vice president, will report to CFO Brennan, who currently sits on the board of Beacon Press. Brennan will also oversee the Finance and Operations staff groups.

In his new role, Limpert will supervise Human Resources, Stewardship and Development, Communications, Information Technology, General Assembly, and the UU Funding Program.

Morales announced the changes during an All Staff meeting on Thursday, April 11. He noted that for the past year he has been focused on work inside the Association, particularly surrounding the selection and move to the new UUA headquarters at 24 Farnsworth St.in Boston. During the next several years, however, his work will be “much more external,” he said, as he turns his attention to a major fundraising campaign.

Montgomery congratulated Limpert on his new position and told the staff, “I can’t think of anyone I’d rather give [the position] to than Harlan. . . . He is simply one of the nicest people I have ever known.”

Prior to becoming vice president of Ministries and Congregational Support in 2009, Limpert served as the UUA’s director of Congregational Life. His home is in Minneapolis, Minn. Montgomery said Limpert would be spending more time in Boston with the new role.

David Andrews, a former president of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York, N.Y., served as the consultant reviewing the UUA’s organizational structure. Prior to establishing a consulting firm, Andrews had served as executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

In a written statement to staff after the meeting, Morales said:

I believe that the organizational changes I have described here are our best option for serving this religious movement we cherish. Ultimately, however, the success of our endeavors is not determined by an org chart. It is determined by our commitment, our creativity, our diligence, and our openness to new possibilities. It is your labor and mine that make the UUA what it is. Thank you for all you do for our Association. Let’s work together to seize the opportunities before us.

see below for links to related resources, including a new UUA organization chart.

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Related Resources

  • UUA Organization Chart, April 2013.The Unitarian Universalist Association’s organization chart, distributed to staff April 11 and effective July 1, 2013, shows the creation of a new chief operating officer role in place of the executive vice president. (PDF)
  • UUA Staff Organization Chart.Perpetually updated current chart. (UUA.org, PDF)