Brian A. Gallagher was the former President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way Worldwide, the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit.
Gallagher launched his career at United Way in 1981, serving at five local United Ways before becoming the President and CEO of United Way of America in 2002 and of United Way Worldwide in 2009. Today, Gallagher leads a global network that supports the health, education and financial stability of individuals and families in more than 1,800 communities thanks to the support of nearly 3 million volunteers, more than 8 million donors, and $4.8 billion raised every year.
Gallagher joined United Way because of his belief that lasting community change at scale takes place when the public, private and non-profit sectors work together. Under Gallagher’s leadership, United Way has shifted to a community impact model that creates sustained change by bringing a wide range of stakeholders to the table. His success with such a model in cities like Columbus, Ohio taught him the value of examining root causes of problems, embracing innovative solutions and finding people’s inner passions to make a difference.
Gallagher was responsible for several advancements at United Way. Upon assuming the role of president and CEO of United Way of America, he quickly established new membership standards that required internal consistency and public transparency in financial reporting. Gallagher 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. He has also built United Way into a digital organization and that embraces the power of technology to connect people with causes they care about through initiatives like United Way Digital Services and platforms such as Salesforce.org Philanthropy Cloud.
Today, United Way is engaged in 40 countries and territories around the world, focusing on fighting for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Gallagher shares his experiences and insights at several high-profile gatherings, including the World Economic Forum (WEF), focusing on the value of public/private partnerships and the importance of strong communities to heal divisions and create greater opportunity for all.
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 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 serves on the boards of America’s Promise Alliance and Leadership 18. He is also on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Ball State University.
He is the father of two daughters, Katie and Maggie, and lives with his wife, Ramona, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.