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Five Questions for Angela F. Williams, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide

Five Questions for Angela F. Williams, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide
Inside Philanthropy
May 29, 2024

Pretty much anyone working in the nonprofit sector will be familiar with United Way, with its vast network of local fundraising affiliates spanning the United States and reaching overseas. From the small donors who give through its local workplace programs all the way up to the likes of MacKenzie Scott, United Way (along with peer organizations like Goodwill and the YMCA/YWCA) has long served donors as a well-established conduit for funding to support direct service causes.

Angela F. Williams was appointed as the new president and CEO of United Way Worldwide (UWW) in 2021, becoming the first Black woman to fill the role. Prior to joining UWW, Williams served as president and CEO of disability services nonprofit Easterseals. She also worked as executive vice president, general counsel and chief administration officer at YMCA of the USA.

Born in Anderson, South Carolina, Williams studied American government at the University of Virginia and earned a law degree from the University of Texas Law School and a divinity masters degree from Virginia Union University. She went on to serve in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps for more than six years as an assistant U.S. attorney, a prosecutor on the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, a special counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee staff, and as an interfaith liaison for the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.

We recently spoke with Williams about how she came to lead UWW, the legacy nonprofit’s transformation, and her thoughts on what nonprofits need from philanthropy. Here are excerpts from that conversation, which have been edited for clarity and length. 

Access the full article for all the questions and answers.