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Press Release

United Way Worldwide Announces Leadership Appointments

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- United Way Worldwide (UWW) announced today the appointment of key leaders to the Executive Leadership Team who will report to President and CEO, Angela F. Williams. This new slate of senior leaders will play a critical role in helping her develop and execute a new vision for United Way Worldwide. Together, they will strengthen the organization's position as the leading non-profit of choice, deliver mission-critical services and support to its Network, and drive transformational growth as a part of United Way's second-century of service. The new appointments include the following individuals, and their backgrounds are detailed below:

  • Odessa P. Jackson, Esq. – General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer
  • Omoiye O. Kinney – EVP and Chief Marketing Officer
  • Leonel Parra – EVP and Chief Financial Officer
  • Sonal Shah – Interim EVP, Worldwide Network Advancement.
  • Tim Berger – United Way Senior Fellow

"I am thrilled that these experienced and accomplished leaders are joining the United Way family during this transformational time," Williams said.  "We are assembling a leadership team capable of launching our organization into its next chapter, and ensuring we can continue doing meaningful work well into the future. With the arrival of these dynamic leaders, United Way Worldwide now has one of the most diverse leadership teams in the field — a significant development for our long-term success. I believe it is crucial that our leaders reflect the communities we serve so that diversity and equity is effectively centered in all that we do."

"United Way is committed to diversity in all that we do -- and that starts with leadership," said Dr. Juliette M. Tuakli, Chair of United Way Worldwide's Board of Trustees. "From our board to the thousands of UWW team members we partner with every day, United Way is stronger because of the unique perspectives and experiences each person brings to the table. This is a transformational moment for United Way, and I look forward to working alongside these world-class leaders as we bring the organization into a new era of service."

Odessa P. Jackson, Esq. – EVP, General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer
As EVP, General Counsel, and Chief Risk Officer, Odessa P. Jackson will help United Way Worldwide navigate the complex elements of United Way's global operation, and keep us charted on the right course. Jackson brings a wide range of corporate, legal, and non-profit management experience to the General Counsel role. She joins United Way from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, where she served as General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Board Secretary since 2017.  Prior to her time at the University of the Sciences, Jackson served for 12 years as Principal Deputy General Counsel at Howard University, where she worked on all international and domestic legal matters, including student affairs, corporate governance, compliance, ethics investigations, and employment matters. Jackson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from American University and her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law.   

Omoiye O. Kinney – EVP and Chief Marketing Officer
As EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Omoiye O. Kinney will craft the narrative behind United Way Worldwide's work, and reach new audiences through the organization's storytelling. Kinney is an accomplished marketer with deep experience in brand strategy, marketing, communications, digital engagement, and member relations – particularly with federated organizations like the YMCA at the national and local level. Most recently, Kinney served as SVP of Marketing and Technology for YMCA of Greater Charlotte providing strategic vision and direction for brand positioning and fundraising campaigns. She also created strategies to grow membership and drive revenue by leveraging technology, developing impactful cause marketing partnerships and driving member and donor engagement.  She holds a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Springfield College and Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Temple University.

Leonel Parra – EVP and Chief Financial Officer
As EVP and Chief Financial Officer, Leonel Parra will ensure United Way Worldwide's resources are responsibly stewarded and leveraged to maximize community impact. Parra has had an extensive career highlighted by his global experience that spans Mexico, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region and the U.S. He has expertise in financial planning and analysis, international finance, capital and cash management, risk framework, and change management. Parra comes to UWW from Freddie Mac, where he helped create a new strategic organization to integrate Risk and Finance operations, and led the Business Management Center of Excellence for those two divisions. Prior to Freddie Mac, Parra worked at GE for 15 years, last serving as CFO and Pricing Leader - Corporate Finance, for a commercial lending unit of GE Capital. Parra also has served in other leadership roles at GE in Bangkok, Hong Kong and the U.S.. Parra received his Bachelor of Science in Business with a major in Accounting from the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, Mexico. He obtained his CPA from the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy and is a graduate of the GE Corporate's Experienced Financial Leadership Program (EFLP).

Sonal Shah – Interim EVP, Worldwide Network Advancement
As Interim EVP for Worldwide Network Advancement, Sonal Shah will lead the U.S. and International Network teams to work with local United Ways to help deliver the greatest impact for UWW's communities. Shah is a global leader on social impact and innovation. She has started and led social impact efforts in academia, government, and the private and philanthropy sectors for more than 25 years.  Most recently, Shah founded and led The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), the largest philanthropic organization for the Asian American community. Shah was Deputy Assistant to President Obama and led the Office of Social Innovation at the White House. At Georgetown University's Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation, Shah created the first cross disciplinary center to provide undergraduate students an opportunity to work on social impact projects in the public, private, and social sectors. In 2020, Shah served as the National Policy Director for Mayor Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign. She has also worked in the private sector with Goldman Sachs and Google and government at the U.S. Department of Treasury on international development.

Tim Berger – Inaugural United Way Senior Fellow 
As the inaugural Senior Fellow for United Way, Tim Berger is part of launching an exciting new initiative that will leverage the experience of senior corporate executives to provide guidance and support in their specific area of expertise. United Way's Senior Fellow program will bring fresh perspective and insights from a wide array of industry leaders and put them to work in support of United Way's mission.  Berger joins after retiring in 2021 from a distinguished career at Mastercard where he served as Executive Vice President, Global Tax. He played a prominent role with members of Congress on the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This background and experience will play an important role as United Way advances its transformation and carves a new path to financial growth. 

About United Way Worldwide
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. With global reach and local impact, we're making life better for 48 million people annually. United Way is the world's largest privately funded nonprofit, working in 95% of U.S. communities and 40 countries and territories. That's why we're the mission of choice for 2.5 million volunteers, 7.7 million donors and 45,000 corporate partners in some 1,200 communities. In the wake of COVID-19, we're helping people stay in their homes, stock their pantries, and protect their lives and livelihoods. And we're working to build resilient, equitable communities. Learn more at UnitedWay.org.