2020 Conference Keynote Speaker


This year’s conference featured Kevin Washington, President and CEO of the YMCA of the USA. Kevin Washington delivered remarks on today’s’ environment and “New Paths Forward” while taking audience-submitted Q&A for the conference’s final opening segment.

Keynote Speaker - Kevin Washington CC Announcement (1)-minKevin Washington is President and CEO of YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the national resource office for the Y—a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Collectively, the nation’s YMCAs engage 22 million members (9 million of whom are under the age of 18) annually.

The Y has been a fixture in Kevin’s life since he was 10 years old, when he first took part in an afterschool program at the Christian Street YMCA in his south Philadelphia neighborhood. His involvement with the Y changed the trajectory of his life, thanks in large measure to a mentor named Bill Morton and basketball. Bill helped Kevin avoid the negative influences and tragic circumstances that ensnared other kids from his neighborhood, and basketball afforded him the opportunity to earn a scholarship to Temple University.

After Kevin graduated from Temple, Bill—who by this time had been promoted to Executive Director of the Christian Street YMCA—hired Kevin as Youth Director, the same position Bill held when he met 10-year-old Kevin. That is how Kevin Washington’s Y story began. And it continues today, after 42 years as a YMCA professional, with him serving as the 14th person and first African American to lead the Y in the U.S.

He came to Y-USA in February 2015 from the YMCA of Greater Boston, where as President and CEO from 2010 to 2014 he expanded membership and access by reducing rates, increased diversity and engagement among the Board of Directors to better reflect the community and implemented a childhood-education quality initiative that benefits thousands of children and families throughout eastern Massachusetts.

Prior to Boston, Kevin served as President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Hartford from 2000 to 2010. Under his leadership, the Hartford YMCA invested more than $60 million to develop or expand eight facilities and camps. He was Chief Operating Officer for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago from 1995 to 2000, and previously held other executive roles with the Chicago YMCA and the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA.

The NonProfit Times named Kevin to the Power & Influence Top 50, its annual celebration of the nonprofit sector’s top executives and strategists, in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. He is a Health and Health Care Industry Governor at the World Economic Forum. He also serves on the boards of Springfield College, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. Kevin earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Temple University.