Sean Garrett




United Way of Metro Chicago


As president and CEO of United Way of Metro Chicago, Sean leads the effort to strengthen communities and make a difference in the lives of neighbors across the Chicago region by mobilizing 70,000 donors and partnering with 825 corporations and more than 175 agencies.

At a young age, Sean was introduced to the mission of community service and quickly answered the call to serve others in his personal and academic life. His father Bill, the founder and president of an Atlanta Jesuit high school for opportunity students, and his mother Susan, a teacher for diverse learners, helped lay the foundation for his work.

Following in their footsteps, Sean began his career as a community fellow at United Way of Dane County Wisconsin, where he worked on community-wide initiatives to increase affordable housing and eliminate homelessness. He later transitioned to serving in the Major Gifts department at United Way of Metro Chicago, then went on to hold several positions with United Way Worldwide, including vice president of development.
Prior to joining the Metro Chicago team in September 2018, Sean served as the executive director of United Way of Central Carolinas in Charlotte, where he launched three major initiatives—United Neighborhoods, to drive neighborhood revitalization; Tutor Charlotte, to provide reading mentors for children in grades K-3; and Unite Charlotte, to provide early funding for organizations working to improve racial equity and increase social capital.
Sean earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and management from Georgetown University and his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

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