The Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, the program and strategy officer of the Unitarian Universalist Association and a member of the UUA’s four-person executive team, announced to staff this morning that she will leave her position on January 31. She then posted the letter to her Facebook page.
UUA President Peter Morales named Cooley to the newly created position at the same time that he named the Rev. Harlan Limpert chief operating officer in 2013, after longtime Executive Vice President Kay Montgomery retired. Morales, Limpert, Cooley, and Tim Brennan—treasurer and chief financial officer—have served as the executive team since then.
In her letter to staff, Cooley said the Leadership Council “has already started discussions of how to adjust work responsibilities and organizational structure upon my departure.” The UUA’s three-person Outreach team reports to Cooley, as do the directors of Congregational Life, Ministries and Faith Formation, and Multicultural Growth and Witness. She also supervises several interdepartmental and multi-organizational projects, including the UU College of Social Justice (with the UU Service Committee), Commit2Respond (with several UU organizations), and “Heritage & Vision @ 24” (interactive exhibits for visitors at the UUA’s new Boston headquarters).
Cooley served as UUA director of Congregational Life from 2010 to 2013, and served as a district executive and regional lead in Massachusetts and southern New England from 2005 to 2010. She was a parish minister from 1990 to 2005. She told colleagues she feels “increasingly drawn . . . to work in a leadership position in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship.”