Franklyn Baker is President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Central Maryland. He was named to the position in November 2016. Under his leadership, the organization has expanded the number of its family stability sites that provide homelessness prevention and shelter diversion services to families in locations across central Maryland, as well as expanded its On Track 4 Success early intervention education program that helps children succeed in school with the goal of graduating.
The Maryland ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report was released at the beginning of Baker’s tenure, and he is a staunch advocate of the report’s findings, which show that more than one-third of Maryland working families cannot afford the state’s cost of living.
Under Baker’s leadership, United Way also assumed the operations of the award-winning, south Baltimore Ben Franklin Center for Community Schools, now The United Way Ben Franklin Center at Brooklyn/Curtis Bay. Based at Benjamin Franklin High School, the center provides onsite daycare and early childhood development programs for teen parents and their children, as well as resources to help families become more stable and self-sufficient.
Other achievements include the largest ever Project Homeless Connect, one of the largest resource fairs in the country for people experiencing homelessness, and successful completion of the United for Change campaign. Separate from its annual fundraising campaign, this was United Way’s first above and beyond campaign in its 92-year history. The campaign surpassed its goal of raising $4.5 million to help struggling families and individual and to improve the organization’s effectiveness.
A cross-functional senior executive with diverse expertise in non-profit organizations, he has demonstrated passion for and commitment to exceeding operational, strategic planning and financial goals. A solution-focused and performance-driven leader, Baker has the vision, experience and business acumen to move beyond layers of traditional organizational dynamics to formulate cost-effective strategies to overcome potential shortfalls and maximize resources. He is a skilled contract negotiator who consistently builds positive, mutually respectful relationships with federal, state and local government officials, vendors, providers, community partners and clients to improve social impact.
In his previous position as Principal Deputy and Chief Operating Officer for Greenpeace USA, Baker improved national operations and helped to bolster fundraising efforts ($45 million non-profit with 600 staff). Prior to this role, Baker served for more than five years as Chief Operating Officer and at the end of his tenure as Chief of Staff and External Affairs Officer with Volunteers of America Chesapeake. While there, he held primary responsibility for leading and improving operations of 32 diverse programs employing more than 750 staff geographically located from Baltimore, Maryland to Virginia Beach to Washington, DC. Baker also spearheaded the human resources, development and information technology functions, ensured its multiple facilities were well managed and met regulatory and contractual expectations while assisting with the acquisition and management of government contracts and grants comprising 92% of its $34 million in revenue.
Before Volunteers of America Chesapeake, Baker worked as Director and Executive Administrator of Public Sector Partnerships within Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. In prior leadership roles, Baker added value with such companies as Columbia, Maryland-based Magellan Behavioral Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and others in various positions ranging from Senior Manager to Vice President.
Baker earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from Howard University and a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame.
Baker has served on multiple boards including as board chair of the $95 Million Unity Healthcare, has completed a two-year Executive Development Program, and is a 2013 class member of Leadership Greater Washington. He is a current class member in the Greater Baltimore Committee’s LEADERship Program, and serves on the board of Baltimore’s Promise. Baker lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife, Michell and teenage daughter, Gabriell.