MOCADSV Announces Retirement of Long-time CEO, Colleen Coble
Post Date: September 8, 2021
Jefferson City, MO—The Board of Directors of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MOCADSV) has announced the December 2021 retirement of the Coalition’s long-time CEO, Colleen Coble, who has served in that position since December 1988.
“For more than 30 years, MOCADSV has had the good fortune to be led by Colleen, one of the strongest and most effective advocates in the country,” said Coalition Board Chair Brendan Cossette. “The good she has done for victims and in the cause of ending domestic and sexual violence is immeasurable. She will most definitely be missed, but her retirement is very well deserved and the Board of Directors wishes her the best going forward.”
Thirty-three years ago, Colleen joined the Coalition with a passion for social change and dedication in her heart to help survivors. With a half-time staff person at her side, and in a borrowed office space from the local domestic violence shelter, Colleen led a handful of member agencies in building an alliance to change laws and change lives for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
During her tenure, she has remained devoted to ensuring service providers have the support, financial resources and training they need to thrive. She has a legislative legacy that includes passage of the many laws since 1989 that affect the safety and wellbeing of survivors of violence and their children.
In 2015 Missouri Scout readers voted Coble, “Most effective in-House Non-Profit Lobbyist.” Coble’s public policy and legislative legacy includes: dozens of far-reaching domestic violence statutes; adding lack of consent to felony rape crimes; establishment of the crime of domestic assault; criminalization of marital rape and stalking; first-time state funding for domestic and sexual violence services; funding for sexual assault evidence exams; local funding initiatives for domestic violence shelters; custody and visitation changes to protect abused women and their children; protection orders for sexual assault victims; and statewide collection of law enforcement and homicide data on domestic violence crimes.
In the mid-1990s, Coble developed Missouri’s statewide project to address the needs of impoverished victims of domestic violence through training more than 6,000 staff of the Department of Social Services. In 1994 she obtained the nation’s first federal disaster relief funding for domestic violence services.
Coble was reappointed by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004 to serve her second two-year term on the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women. Coble has been appointed by the Supreme Court of Missouri to serve on various statewide bodies addressing gender issues in the courts and has been appointed to statewide committees and task forces by Missouri Governors. In 2002 she authored the first report of the Governor-appointed Missouri Task Force on Domestic Violence. Coble is also a founding member of the Missouri Battered Women’s Clemency Coalition, and a founding member of the National Network to End Domestic Violence where she also served as Public Policy Chair.
During a 2009 ceremony at the U.S. Library of Congress, Coble was awarded the national Diane Reese Award by The National Network to End Domestic Violence for her “outstanding commitment to social justice and advocacy for battered women.”
The list of her accomplishments is long and varied, and for three decades her leadership has served as a guiding light for advocates and allies of our work to unite around the shared value that rape and abuse must end. It is evident, for those fortunate to have worked alongside her, no one will ever take the place of Colleen.
“When we found Colleen to head MOCADSV in 1988, we truly found a jewel,” said Mary Ann Allen, former Board chair, Public Policy Committee chair and Executive Director of MOCADSV member agency, Haven House. “It has been an honor to serve with her and a thrill to watch what she has accomplished to improve the lives of abuse survivors and their children. Under her leadership we have grown from a small group of well-intentioned advocates to a network of well-trained professionals throughout the state. I wish her all the best in retirement.” Allen and Coble have worked alongside each other for 34 years.
The MOCADSV Board will make additional announcements about Ms. Coble’s retirement, the ways in which people can express what Colleen has meant to them and their work, and the process for identifying the person who will lead the Coalition in the years ahead.
“Onward,” has long been Colleen’s rallying call, a message of solace and solidarity over the years. While this is a change for the Coalition—the MOCADSV staff, Board, and 124-member agencies—we remain steadfast in Colleen’s rally call: Onward.