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Who We Are
Open Seat is your co-conspirator
in supporting nimble, creative,
and generative teams and building
authentic, dynamic relationships with
folks in the communities you serve.

Be A Better Ally


Create or bolster grantee or coalition capacity building resources. Support leadership continuity or other all-hands moments for grantees as a coach, advisor, or interim staffer.

Works with Organizations to: 
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Cultivate and support leadership, transparency, and accountability throughout your teams. We can build an organizational design that works for your team and your mission, create intentionality around hierarchical vs alternative models, plan staffing to leave space for you to throw and thrive, and develop your internal communications plan to enable you to collectively face new challenges with grace.
Make Room For Many Leaders.


Build leaderful teams on a foundation of effective communication, smart and clear delegation, and purposeful space to plan and re-plan together.

Design clear, informed dialogue and tools to transparently execute leadership transitions, strategy development and rollout, and other opportunities to align your values with how you do the work.
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Get serious about a plan.

Plan your next year or your next phase of the work and how you will support each other and co-create that future recognizing that continual change is inherent to your most important work.

Plan for the long-term health of your relationship with your community

Work with your organization’s emerging leaders to build their voices as authentic, visionary, honest, and curious.
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Focus on culture & how you build together.

Support growth of staff culture to ensure it is generative and leaves meaningful space for all voices.

Build your skillset and toolbox so you’re not guided by what feels most urgent. Instead, we’ll make sure you have the tools, internal communication, and strong culture of feedback in and among your teams such that you can set your own priorities effectively, get to the important but not urgent things, and leave breathing room for creative and nuanced work.

Look at team benefits to ensure they match your culture, values, and your vision for how your organization may grow.
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Build your bench of leaders and strategists from throughout the organization and develop a plan for supporting them long-term.
Stabilize & invest.

Help build your Board so that you’re working together effectively and it evolves alongside your organization.

Assess your funding streams for diversity, stability, and more. Some questions we’ll tackle together include: Do you have one funder you’ve always relied on? Do you have one team with consistent time and space for creativity and another that never gets to stop running long enough to reflect at all?
Examples of how we can collaborate to strengthen your organization include:
Conducting an organizational assessment of your current structure, how you communicate with one another, and whether team members are getting what they need to thrive in their roles. 
Co-creating tools that allow you to build a culture of transparency and feedback as a team.
Providing an interim CEO, COO, Managing Director, or Chief of Staff and supporting you to identify next steps to strengthen your team and build trust.
Supporting staffing up a new team quickly through hiring support.
Building tools and providing a space for dialogue to enable actual, effective delegation of tasks and responsibilities.

 Co-planning and facilitating critical time together as a team to focus on relationships or planning.

 Leadership coaching.
 Building a plan to strengthen your ops work.
 Working with counsel to strengthen programs and operations in complex or emergent legal contexts. 
 Creating a plan of action for keeping the trains running on time while you are focusing on something only you can do.
 Crisis management strategy, timeline planning, and active support.
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Our Values
Collaboration and open, transparent communication. Efficient, respectful, and kind. We pride ourselves on power and information sharing and creating tools for your team to do this naturally and provide each other with vital feedback along the way.

Curiosity and respect, remaining open to what we haven’t yet discovered yet together, and viewing conflict as an opportunity. We love to learn from when things go differently than planned.

Equity. There are a lot of ways to do good, but the best ones consider the complicated ecosystems, differing needs, and vibrant lived experiences of the folks around the table. We design approaches that leave room for and are strengthened by these differences.
Shifting power. The work we do is important to us because in the end it contributes to shifting power (including actual dollars!) into the hands of folks most directly impacted by health disparities, climate change, incarceration and immigration policing, and systems built to purposefully reinforce inequity.

Reducing harm. Any positive step is a step forward. We meet folks where they’re at and walk together to where they’re hoping to go, with progress being far more important than perfection.

Transparency around process, reasoning, and next steps for all involved.
Hi! I'm Kate,
& I lead
Open Seat.
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Photo credit: Les Talusan

Over the last 14 years, I’ve led teams, both within organizations and as a consultant, to set inclusive, equitable long-term strategy, design teams and stand up new organizations, and strengthen grassroots actions so that those most impacted are continually centered. I’ve sought partnership and impact as an advocate, communicator, grantmaker, and strategist interested in shifting power and resources to where they can have the highest impact–in the hands of folks directly impacted.


In my consulting work, I’ve done everything from supporting ambitious organization start up efforts, to designing and executing communications strategies for high profile opportunity campaigns, to running accountability agendas, and ghost-writing for former heads of state. In prior leadership roles, I built cohesive, powerful new teams (20+ people strong), served in executive leadership roles (ranging from supporting orgs building political power of young folks to supporting harm reduction providers and movement groups), led organizational advocacy agendas, led teams to build strong partnerships and robust coalitions, and managed ambitious research agendas matched up with long-term coalition and campaign strategy. I remain firmly committed to social and economic inclusion, equity and equality, and anti-poverty organizing.


I love a big challenge and firmly believe that with the right folks around the table, very little is out of reach. The trick is in setting the table. For a free intro chat, and to get started - 

About me

Common Co-conspirators

Because we're better together.


Kelly Stevens (she/her)

Zahara Consulting

Kelly specializes in people-centered approaches that champion equity, build connections, and encourage meaningful and sustained change. She provides strategy, management, and coaching services to community-serving organizations and individuals. Her passion is rooted in striking the right balance between proven methods and human-centered approaches that inspire connection and drive innovation.


Emma Roberts (she/her)

Awen Consulting Services

Emma is a thought leader, expert in community development, and capacity builder committed to authentic solidarity and values-led organizational development. She works with people all over the US and beyond who are committed to expanding harm reduction services, integrating harm reduction philosophy across the care continuum, and advocating for these measures to foster deeper connections and drive enduring, transformative change in communities.


Helen Jones (she/her)

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Helen Jones is an operations fanatic who specializes in people, processes, and procedures. She brings 10+ years of experience in the international development and social justice space and looks to re-think the traditional systems and structures that do not fit the values of many non-profit organizations and instead applies a human-centered design approach to her work in building and strengthening organizations and the teams within them.


Aditi Naik (she/her) & Kara Federico (she/her)

The Ops Collective

The Ops Collective is a people-centered consulting collective helping social impact organizations take care of their internal systems so they can focus on creating meaningful change. The Collective was created to lead with values, raise standards across industries, and challenge traditional approaches to how people structure their organizations.

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We've consulted with some pretty cool folks.

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Florida Access Network logo
Apiary for Practical Support logo
RESULTS Educational Fund logo
New Venture Fund logo
FHI Solutions logo
International Rescue Committee logo
ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership logo

What folks are saying:

"We at The Ops Collective love partnering with Kate on client engagements. Kate brings a wealth of experience in organizational development, coaching, and leadership capacity building. Kate's approach to client work is truly values driven, collaborative, and a much needed resource in the nonprofit space."

- Aditi Naik, Co-Founder, The Ops Collective

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Reach Out
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Washington, DC
& global
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Reach Out

Thanks! I'll get back to you soon.

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