From the desk of Mary Sellers: Nine months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, United Way supports long-term recovery efforts
Mary Sellers was named U.S. President of United Way Worldwide (UWW) in April 2017. She is responsible for leading the organization’s enterprise-wide strategy implementation across the United States by working with United Way leaders in local communities to execute a vision of “one network” that, combined with a consistent set of impact goals, creates the continued success of the network and the communities they serve.
Sellers joined UWW with a 25-year track record of leadership and success in nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining UWW, Mary was president of the United Way of Central Iowa (UWCI), where she strategically aligned the entire organization, evolving it from an autonomous culture to a collective accountability culture. She moved funded partners from viewing UWCI as solely a funder to a trusted partner, and developed an engagement framework to give the community more presence in the work of UWCI, leading to a longer-lasting and more committed donor and volunteer base. Under Mary’s leadership, UWCI was the number one (per capita) giving United Way in the country of those raising more than $25 million.
For 10 years, Mary was the president and CEO of the Science Center of Iowa, where she guided the planning, fundraising, execution and operation of the $62-million, 110,000-square-foot facility located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Mary served on the eight-member board of the Getty Leadership Institute in Los Angeles, and has served as a competitive peer grant reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Science Foundation. Mary has also served on the Board of the Association Science-Technology Centers, and has been an accreditation reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums.
In December of 2012, Mary was appointed by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission, and in 2016, she was appointed by Governor Branstad to the Future Ready Alliance. From 2013-2017, Mary served on the National Professional’s Council for UWW, and from 2016-2017, she served on the Executive Committee. Mary earned her B.A. degree from the University of Florida and her M.B.A. at the University of Iowa, Tippie School of Management. She is also a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute, the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business, and the Diversity Leaders Initiative at Furman University.