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Author: Brian Gallagher

Brian Gallagher

Brian Gallagher

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.

Five Reasons Volunteer Mentors Matter

04/09/14


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. More

Individualism or the Common Good?  We need both.

02/12/14


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. More

Dream Big.  Anything is Possible.

12/23/13


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. More

Reflections on Mandela

12/06/13


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. More

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Normative Change at an Historic Scale

09/06/13


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. More

A Troubling Issue Too Few Are Talking About

07/30/13


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.

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Commit to Common Good Ideas

07/02/13


Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians are taking to the streets to protest government spending. The protests are about the billions being spent on soccer stadiums and other projects in preparation to host the World Cup and Summer Olympics, instead of on education, health care, or job training. More

Believing in Something Bigger

05/31/13


Like you, United Ways around the world wrestle every day with issues brought on by rapidly changing economic, political and social environments—issues clearly bigger than any one individual, institution or sector to solve. More

The Case for Building Mentor Capital

09/13/12


Become a Volunteer Reader, Tutor or Mentor

Take a look at this article by Brian Gallagher as featured in The Huffington Post. "Schools across the country have geared up and welcomed students for another engaging year in the classroom. The start of a new school year is always an exciting time filled with a sense of opportunity. As the leaves turn, students, teachers and parents get a fresh start. But they aren't the only ones who should see "back to school" as a time of new possibilities. The season is the perfect time of year to become a reader, tutor or mentor." More

What’s at Stake

10/13/11


Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide at the Senate Finance Committee Hearing on October 18, 2011.

Brian Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide, will be testifying before Congress on an issue of vital importance to our communities. Read this address from him and help him carry the message. More