Wilson Center Experts
Kathy Calvin is President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation. Her career has spanned work in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She is a passionate advocate for multi-sector problem-solving, U.S. leadership on global issues, and the inclusion of women at all levels and in all sectors.
Kathy was named CEO by the UN Foundation Board in 2009 and President in 2013. In those roles, she leads one of the most innovative organizations advocating for the UN and the creation of public-private partnerships. Her leadership brings together the largest network of supporters of UN issues in the United States and a global network of corporate, civil society and media partners. The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner's historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation advocates for the UN and connects people, ideas, and resources to help the United Nations solve global problems. As a public charity with many partners, the UN Foundation's work is focused on decreasing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a clean energy future, using mobile technology for development, and improving U.S.-UN relations. Kathy is particularly passionate about the need to raise adolescent girls on the global development agenda. Under her leadership the UN Foundation is committed to making the case for investing in adolescent girls and driving innovation and resources to unlock girls’ potential.
In 2011, Kathy was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Rock the World,” and in 2012, she was listed in Fast Company’s “League of Extraordinary Women.” Her innovative work in the philanthropy and international NGO sector was featured by the New York Times in 2011. She has received numerous other awards for philanthropy and leadership.
Prior to joining the UN Foundation as Chief Operating Officer in 2003, Kathy served as President of the AOL Time Warner Foundation. She joined America Online in 1997 as Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, and was responsible for the company’s brand, social responsibility, and external relations. She has also worked as Senior Managing Director at Hill and Knowlton and served as Senator Gary Hart’s press secretary in his Senate office and his 1984 Presidential campaign.
Kathy is a graduate of Purdue University.