Michael K. Durkin, President and CEO of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Announces Retirement After Four Decades of Service

June 12, 2019

Boston – The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley today announced that Michael K. Durkin, who has led as President & CEO for over a decade and has served the United Way movement for 43 years overall, will retire from the organization effective June, 2020. Mike has led the organization’s fundraising and impact efforts since 2008, helping to raise more than $550 million for the Greater Boston and Merrimack Valley region and positively impacting the lives of millions of vulnerable individuals, children and families.

“During my time with United Way – from my first job in Manchester, New Hampshire, to Columbia, South Carolina, Denver, Atlanta, Boston and a few other places along the way – I have had the opportunity to serve with dedicated United Way volunteers and professionals, people who want to make a difference in their communities,” Durkin said. “Even more importantly, I have had the opportunity to work with people who want to help through giving, volunteering and advocating, often for those who have no other advocate. United Way is a place where people who believe they really can make a difference can come in touch with those who want a better chance at life’s opportunities.”

Mike’s leadership in Greater Boston has been marked by significant advancements in reducing homelessness, moving families out of poverty, ensuring the healthy development of young children and helping youth develop the skills needed for college and career. Achievements under his leadership include:

  • Launch of the first-in-the-nation Pay for Success initiative with the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, Corporation for Supportive Housing, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to reduce chronic individual homelessness. Since this $27.5M partnership launched in 2015, United Way and its partners have provided supportive housing to more than 840 chronically homeless individuals, and 89% remain in the program or have had a positive exit.
  • Successful advocacy for a new Community Investment Tax Credit, which went into effect in 2014 and has raised over $24 million statewide for economic and community development across the Commonwealth. United Way has raised over $8M of these total funds. Last year alone, funds raised through the CITC built or preserved over 1,500 homes, created 4,300 job opportunities, and engaged over 11,300 community residents in advocating for strengthening their neighborhoods.
  • Ground-breaking Boston Builds Credit partnership with Mayor Marty Walsh and the City of Boston, a citywide movement to reduce income inequality by empowering all residents to achieve a prime credit score, build wealth and remove barriers to success.
  • Award of a grant from the Education, Innovation and Research division of the U.S. Department of Education to expand BoSTEM, an innovative partnership with Boston Public Schools and community-based after-school programs to engage 10,000 middle school students in meaningful STEM learning experiences and help prepare more youth from underserved communities for the STEM workforce.
  • Partnership with the Private Equity/Venture Capital industry to create DRIVE, United Way’s pioneering effort to collect, aggregate and analyze developmental screening data across diverse programs service young children. Since 2014, DRIVE has screened over 6,000 children, helping to ensure they develop on track and that their parents are engaged and supported in their development.
  • Growth of UWMBMV from 86 to 153 communities, reducing inefficiencies and more effectively leveraging resources to create greater impact.

“Mike Durkin has dedicated his professional life to the United Way and the people we help,” said Brian Gallagher, President of United Way Worldwide.  “He is everything we look for in a leader; he’s mission-centered, results-oriented, collaborative, and kind.  Mike has been an extraordinary leader locally, nationally, and globally.  The United Way is a better organization for having had Mike Durkin as a core leader for so long.”

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I congratulate Mike on his splendid career and retirement and thank him for the dedication and leadership he has provided our region over the past decade, particularly on challenging issues facing our communities,” said Steven D. Krichmar, retired Chief of Operations at Putnam Investments and Chairman of the Board at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.  “His thoughtful and forward-thinking stewardship of donor contributions in our region has made a tremendous impact on the financial opportunity and educational success of children and families in need. Mike has worked tirelessly to make our communities better for all people to live and work, and for this we owe him a great debt of gratitude.”

The Board of Directors of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has appointed a search committee of Board members and other community representatives, co-chaired by Tim Connelly, Limited Partner at Brown Brothers Harriman and Jan Cooper, retired Director at Deloitte. The committee plans to hire a search firm to assist in the recruitment of a new President and CEO. More information will be available on the United Way’s website www.unitedwaymassbay.org in the coming weeks.


See the latest information on our search here.