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Brian A. Gallagher

President and Chief Executive Officer

Brian A. Gallagher is President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way Worldwide, the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit.

Gallagher is a regular contributor to a number of high-profile global discussions, including the World Economic Forum (WEF). He frequently speaks about critical issues ranging from sustainable growth in emerging economies to the ability of public/private partnerships to drive innovation and create long-term human success.

Under Gallagher’s leadership, United Way has shifted the focus of its mission to driving community change. This approach, which brings people together to create more opportunities for all, has been adopted in more than 40 countries and territories worldwide. He has also elevated brand stewardship to the highest priority. In 2008, United Way launched the LIVE UNITED campaign to engage communities in a more inclusive strategic effort. LIVE UNITED is an invitation to give, to advocate, to volunteer – an opportunity for all people to think of themselves as part of the solution.

Gallagher came to United Way in 1981 as a management trainee, and has held positions in several communities throughout the U.S., including president of United Way of Central Ohio in Columbus. In 2002, he took on the role of president and CEO of United Way of America, quickly establishing new membership standards that required internal consistency and public transparency in financial reporting. His next priority was to take United Way beyond fundraising and transform the organization into a driver of long-term community impact.

United Way has become a leader in improving lives and communities around the world. In 2009, under Gallagher’s leadership, United Way of America and United Way International merged to create United Way Worldwide. Today, United Way is engaged in nearly 1,800 communities around the world to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities, focusing on education, financial stability, and health. Supported by nearly 3 million volunteers, 9 million donors worldwide, and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is engaging millions of people to change their communities, whether it’s through donating, volunteering or speaking out.

Gallagher leads WEF’s Global Civil Society Advisory Board, is a steering committee member of the WEF’s “Promoting Global Financial Inclusion” initiative, and is also a founding member of WEF’s NGO Advisory Committee and the Global Gender Parity Group. He served as a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, is former Chair of the Independent Sector, and currently serves on the Board of America’s Promise Alliance, Ball State University Foundation, and Leadership 18. He also serves on Ball State’s Board of Trustees.

He is the father of two daughters, Katie and Maggie, and lives with his wife, Ramona, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.



Blog Posts by Brian A. Gallagher

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.

Commit to Common Good Ideas

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.