United Way of Greater Kansas City Names New CEO
Mar 30, 2021
(KANSAS CITY, MO – March 29, 2021) – The Board of Trustees of United Way of Greater Kansas City (UWGKC) are pleased to announce the hiring of Chris Rosson as its president & CEO. UWGKC identifies and supports the most critical areas of need in our region, then connects donors and community partners with programs and agencies to help improve the lives of Kansas Citians.
Rosson will be leaving his position as a regional executive director for Teach for America. In that role, he oversaw operations focused in the Kansas City metro area. He is a KC native who graduated summa cum laude from both William Jewell College and Johns Hopkins University. He also completed an honors tutorial in philosophy and politics at Oxford University and was featured as one of the nation’s top 20 college students by USA Today. He serves on several Kansas City charitable boards and committees including the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, Startland and the Radical Inclusivity Advisory Committee at William Jewell College. In 2017 he was named a NextGen Leader by the Kansas City Business Journal.
Rosson succeeds longtime UWGKC leader Brent Stewart, who retired at the end of 2020. UWGKC’s Board of Trustees engaged Koya Partners, a national executive search firm that works exclusively with mission-driven clients. Board Chair John Murphy led the search committee and said Koya’s extensive 360-degree references of Rosson brought to light numerous positive attributes and demonstrated respect from his subordinates and peers, alike.
“We set goals of hiring a transformational and innovative leader who would successfully lead United Way of Greater Kansas City into the future,” said Murphy, founder of J. Murphy Strategies. “Chris possesses those attributes and also has the tools to offer creative ideas to address the challenging needs of our community. He is an energetic leader with an entrepreneurial approach, who also has a deep passion for United Way’s mission and programs.”
While coming of age in Kansas City, Rosson relied on several United Way agencies. Growing up in a single-parent, low-income household in a high violent crime-rate neighborhood, Rosson says he also found a safe haven at the Della Lamb Community Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, two United Way partner agencies.
“It is a deeply personal honor for me to lead the organization that was so pivotal in changing my very own life trajectory. I would not be who I am today if it were not for the investments made in me by the United Way through its partner organizations. I am a living, breathing example of why the United Way is a critical organization in our community,” said Rosson. “United Way is unique in its ability to galvanize a community to collectively address our most pressing and enduring challenges – those of poverty, educational inequity and health disparities – issues I can speak to from personal experience.”
“Chris has a unique and refreshing style of servant leadership,” said Murphy. “We are confident he will demonstrate our values at every turn and uphold our commitment to be an anti-racist organization.”
“I look forward to drawing attention to how our agencies and programming are making a difference and to driving impact across Kansas City, especially in those parts of our community that have been historically marginalized,” said Rosson.
Rosson will take the helm of United Way on June 9th after he completes his obligations with Teach for America. Michelle Hogerty, who has served as interim president & CEO of UWGKC since Stewart’s retirement, will return to her position as chief operations officer. She has served on the UWGKC executive team for more than a decade.
About United Way of Greater Kansas City
United Way of Greater Kansas City has played a unique leading role in the philanthropic community for more than 100 years. United Way’s mission is to improve lives by mobilizing Greater Kansas City’s collective generosity for the greatest good. To achieve that goal, United Way uses its experience and expertise to assemble the most promising and results-driven service agencies and programs and the most generous volunteers and donors to provide the farthest-reaching network of support for those in need in the greater Kansas City area. We are Kansas City taking care of its own. Visit us at unitedwaygkc.org.