President and CEO
YMCA of the USA
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 rough 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 40 years as a YMCA professional, 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 and 2018. He 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.