Sharon Cooley leads the successful, agile business development team at Creative Associates International, a company focused on delivering sustainable solutions to development challenges around the world. As the Senior Vice President and Senior Director of Business Development, she is a core member of Creative’s Senior Executive Committee and an advocate for women in leadership in the development industry.
Sharon spearheads Creative’s business development strategy and setting goals, ensuring the right people, policies and procedures are in place to win awards that allows the company to implement its array of services, from economic growth and workforce development to education in crisis and conflict and political transitions work.
Under her leadership, the Division of nearly 20 full-time employees and an equal number of professional consultants has achieved record growth in new and continuing business during the past four years.
In addition to supporting corporate initiatives and mentoring staff, she leads a cross-divisional Business Development Community of Practice, which is charged with strategy development and business process improvement initiatives, including strategic marketing, new business capture management, client diversification, and mentoring and learning.
In 2018, Sharon co-designed Creative’s Women’s Leadership Program, which received the company’s Creative Way Award, celebrating innovation and impact. Now in its second year, the program is working with women in the organization to build their skills and reinforce their talents that ensure they may pursue the leadership positions they desire. She also received Creative’s Senior Employee of the Year Award in 2012.
Prior to joining Creative, Sharon managed an array of international development projects and business development efforts for the Urban Institute’s Center on International Development and Governance, including for the World Bank and USAID. As part of this work, she has advised national and local governments worldwide on performance-based budgeting, strategic and participatory planning, intergovernmental relations, change management, and civic engagement strategies. Previously, she was a senior analyst in the city manager’s office in the City of Riverside, Calif.
Sharon has an MA in Sociology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York City. She is an avid hiker and never met a rocky path she didn’t like (real and metaphorical!).