Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Michael Allen has built a life in Ottawa that is focused on building the community sector and its contribution to a civil society. Following a career that saw him practicing law and then working on Parliament Hill, Michael was drawn to United Way East Ontario by the opportunity to help others in his community. Michael’s tenure at United Way has been marked by milestones in moving both the organization and the community sector to more evidence-based, research-driven approaches to addressing the circumstances of Ottawa’s most vulnerable people. During his time, United Way has seen an increase in philanthropic and other revenues, partnerships, and impact in the community. Some of the achievement’s Michael is most proud of is United Way’s response to the refugee crisis in 2015, the rapid response to Ottawa’s opioid crisis in 2017, and the defining of organizational goals that speak to some of the city’s greatest challenges: such as ending youth homelessness, making sure every young person graduates, and ensuring that no senior is vulnerable.
Michael and his wife Karen have three children, and remain committed to making Ottawa a great place to live — for everyone. “Working at United Way is a source of constant inspiration,” he says, “Our dedicated volunteers and staff are extremely committed and motivated. We all share a common goal of helping people in our community succeed.”