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Brian Gallagher became President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of America in 2002 and then of United Way Worldwide in 2009. In 2002, he immediately took on the challenge of leading the transformation of the organization to focus on community impact. A career veteran of the United Way system, Gallagher believes that the true measure of success for United Way and other philanthropic organizations is bottom-line results: the lives that are changed and thecommunities that are shaped.  This represents a dynamic shift from the United Way recognized for decades as the nation’s premier fund raiser and distributor.  Gallagher has raised the bar on the accountability, governance and transparency standards adopted as a requirement of membership for all United Ways.  Today United Way has 1,800 local affiliates in 45 countries and territories raising $5.1 billion annually, with 11 million donors and 2.5 million volunteers. Gallagher began his career with United Way in 1981 as a management trainee, later working in various positions in United Ways around the United States including Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Reading, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; and Atlanta, Georgia.  He then served as president of United Way of Central Ohio in Columbus, Ohio where he had first-hand experience with community impact, creating a very successful Family Housing Collaborative, which works simultaneouslyto obtain low cost housing while providing day care and job training sothat the cycle of homelessness is broken. Gallagher was born in Chicago and grew up in Hobart, Indiana.  He received his bachelor’s degree in social work from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, in 1981 and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Emory University in Atlanta in 1992.  In May 2003 Gallagher received an honorary Doctor of Humanities from his alma mater, Ball State University.

Blog Posts by Brian Gallagher

New Partnership with Scholas Occurrentes

Brian Gallagher was in Rome last week to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Scholas Occurrentes, an education initiative started by Pope Francis while he was Bishop of Buenos Aires.

D-Day Reflections

The 70th anniversary of D-Day is an opportunity to reflect on the spirit of collaboration that rebuilt Europe after the war. Today, a renewed commitment to that spirit of collaboration is needed to advance the common good and create more opportunity for all.

Join the Discussion at the Freedom and Solidarity Forum

During the week of June 1-7, United Way Worldwide President and CEO Brian Gallagher spent the week at the Freedom and Solidarity Forum in Caen, France for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. He joined with thought leaders and world leaders alike, to discuss the future of transatlantic cooperation, including the nonprofit sector. Below is a social media recap of the week's events.

Five Reasons Volunteer Mentors Matter

As we celebrate “National Volunteer Week” and lift up the nearly 11 million volunteers across the United Way network, I wanted to acknowledge one form of leadership that’s essential to creating the kind of lasting change we seek for our communities—the volunteer mentor.

Individualism or the Common Good?  We need both.

The economic narrative is changing. Growth and recovery have been joined with talk of sustainability, inclusive success, and concerns about rising income and wealth disparities. Working towards the common good is becoming a norm.

Dream Big.  Anything is Possible.

This is often the time that folks give pause and think about the well-being of others. As we do, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on our own role in community and what might be possible if we think big and look beyond what we once thought we might accomplish.

Reflections on Mandela

As we reflect on the loss of Nelson Mandela, I can’t help but consider the entirety of his life’s journey and influence. Few people leave a legacy as rich in lessons and timeless in their approach.

Normative Change at an Historic Scale

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting of the New Champions or “Summer Davos” starts next week in Dalian, China. I look forward to it every year. Discussions are always insightful and productive, but it’s the theme of new leadership that I really enjoy.

A Troubling Issue Too Few Are Talking About

There are moments that give you pause and make you look at the world you thought you knew differently.  For me, one came late last year while attending the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting.