Newsroom Update

Transition at United Way Worldwide

February 10, 2021 – United Way Worldwide CEO Brian Gallagher has announced he is stepping down from his role effective March 1. We believe this is an important step in helping United Way Worldwide improve its internal culture and serve the United Way movement in a more effective and inclusive manner.

Since last November, our local United Way has been closely following coverage in the Huffington Post and Business Insider detailing alleged harassment, retaliation and other troubling behaviors at United Way Worldwide. United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg was not given prior notice of these charges before they were reported publicly.

The allegations described involve United Way Worldwide, not United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. Nevertheless, they were and continue to be deeply troubling to our independent, local organization. We believe these claims should be taken seriously and reviewed thoroughly.

It is our hope that the United Way Worldwide Board of Directors and the incoming interim CEO will continue to explore the organization’s culture as well as its relationship with local United Ways that serve communities across the country the way we do here in Greater Richmond and Petersburg.

Meanwhile, here are some important things we want you to know about us:

We are an independent, local member of the United Way network.

The allegations described involve United Way Worldwide, not United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. We are one of more than 1,700 independent members of the United Way Worldwide network. We are a fully local nonprofit based in Richmond, Virginia and focused entirely on serving 11 localities in the Greater Richmond & Petersburg region.

  • Our leadership is local. We have a local governing Board of Directors and staff based in the greater Richmond and Petersburg area.
  • Our mission is local. United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg’s mission is to empower individuals and drive systemic change to provide everyone with a clear path to success. We serve the region’s neighborhoods and rural areas alike, providing direct services and supporting partners in 11 localities across the region.
  • Our fundraising and community investment is local. 99% of the money we raise stays right here in our area and is used to fund local initiatives and nonprofit organizations. Our community investment process is managed by a local team of community volunteers that makes recommendations to allocate resources to local nonprofits.

We have strong policies in place to protect against the behavior alleged to have happened at United Way Worldwide.

United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg’s mission can only be achieved in a professional environment where employees feel safe, respected and supported. Our leadership team works hard to foster that type of environment.

We do not tolerate harassment, retaliation or other types of misconduct. We have a whistleblower policy in place to protect employees who file complaints. We regularly communicate with employees to ensure they are aware of and fully understand these policies.


For questions about this statement or other matters related to United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, contact:

James Taylor
President & CEO
United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg
(804) 771-5828

Brian Wachur
Vice President of Marketing & Communications
United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg
(301) 807-7723

Any media inquiries regarding the allegations at United Way Worldwide should contact United Way Worldwide directly:

Pamela Springs
Vice President of Communications
United Way Worldwide