At United Way, we know we only make progress against poverty when we give it our all, every day—and that starts at the top.

Anne Wilson


Anne joined United Way Bay Area in 1980, and was named its first female CEO in 2000. Under her leadership, United Way has transformed from a community fundraiser into a leader in the fight against poverty.


“Sometimes the challenges we face are daunting, but I take strength from the amazing staff, volunteers, and community partners who come together every day at United Way.”




Eric McDonnell


Eric provides strategic and operational leadership to deliver on United Way’s mission. As executive vice president, he sets organizational priorities that work to ensure every child has the opportunity to reach their academic potential, all families achieve financial self-sufficiency, and Bay Area neighborhoods are safe and strong for all.


“I grew up in poverty, living in public housing, facing the everyday challenges of making ends meet. Like a debilitating illness, poverty can rob an individual, a family, and a community of material, mental, and emotional hope. So, United Way’s work to end poverty is important to me personally because I know the struggle.”




Ginny Nichols


Ginny has more than 30 years of administrative and management experience in finance, human resources, operations, manufacturing, and production. Among her many responsibilities at United Way are directing Executive Office operations and the CEO’s calendar, managing Board of Directors communications, and stewarding compliance with United Way of America’s membership reporting requirements. She also leads special projects on behalf of the CEO and serves on many cross-functional teams.


“There are so many committed, caring people in the Bay Area; working together, we can accomplish this transformational work.”




Joan Catherine Braun


Joan is responsible for finance, human resources, and information technology. With three decades of experience in for-profit and nonprofit organizations throughout the Bay Area—including Fair Trade USA, Mills College, PolicyLink, and the Foundation of National Progress—Joan has broad and deep experience in building and leading administrative functions to support high-performing organizations.


“As the oldest child of a single mother who did not finish high school, I would never have gone to college if it hadn’t been for a high-quality public education, the aid-blind admissions policy of Wesleyan University, and Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. I want others to have the supports that made my life what it is today.”