Zachary Cole

Chief of Staff
Headshot of Zachary Cole

Contact Information


Zachary Cole joined the Emory University Office of Spiritual and Religious Life team in September 2019 as Chief of Staff. Reporting to the Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life, his duties include supporting the Dean as a strategist and implementer and ensure streamlined operations within the department. Zachary handles the day-to-day management of staff, budgets, spaces, programs, data, and communications. He also coordinates the execution of strategic initiatives including major complex programs, conferences, and campaigns.

Prior to his arrival at Emory, Zach worked as Program Manager for the University Chaplaincy at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. At Tufts, Zach was charged with coordinating and implementing high-level programming and outreach efforts to connect and integrate the University Chaplaincy with all segments of the university and with external partners.

His undertakings included overseeing the Conversation, Action, Faith, and Education (CAFE) Pre-Orientation program, which involved implementing the programmatic vision and recruiting, hiring, supervising, and coaching paid student staff and volunteer peer leaders. He worked closely with the Tufts Interfaith Student Council and supported important initiatives around dialogue, activism, and values. He also developed and managed departmental outreach and communications strategies for the University Chaplaincy to ensure high visibility and engagement across the university and beyond.

Zachary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education from Boston College. His higher education experience includes roles in the Office of Student Life at Harvard Divinity School, Residence Life at Babson College, and the Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education at Boston College.

He is also a past Co-Chair of the Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education Knowledge Community (SRHE KC) within NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). In that role, he worked to support and network professionals, students, faculty, and other stakeholders who are invested in enhancing conversations, research, and best practices for spirituality, secularism, and religion in higher education.

Prior to his time at Tufts, Zachary spent a year as the Values in Action Fellow at the Humanist Community at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he organized monthly interfaith community service programs in partnership with local religious and philosophical communities. He also served from 2015-2019 as a consultant and event planner for the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College to plan an annual interfaith charitable meal-packing event.

He enjoys playing basketball and board games, hiking new trails, and traveling. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


  • MA | Boston College
  • BA | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill