Shirley Marcus Allen

Shirley Marcus Allen

Kirkland Byrd Group

Founder and Managing Director

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Shirley Marcus Allen, Founder & Managing Director of the Kirkland Byrd Group, LLC. Founded in 2014, the KBG provides social change consultancy to nonprofits and foundations serving children, youth and families. The KBG specializes in capacity building, change management and implementation, strategic planning, executive coaching, and catalytic philanthropy.

Prior to establishing the KBG, Ms. Allen served as a Partner with Venture Philanthropy Partners. VPP is a high-engagement, philanthropic investment firm that provides significant multi-year growth capital and strategic management support to nonprofits serving children and youth of low-income families in the DC Region.

In her role as Partner, Ms. Allen adapted the relevant principles of private investment firms to the nonprofit sector. She managed a multi-million-dollar portfolio of nonprofit organizations, conducted due diligence and analysis of investment criteria to select high performing philanthropic investments, assisted in the creation of growth-oriented business plans, structured investment parameters, and provided strategic advice designed to assist nonprofit organizations in achieving their proposed social outcomes. She worked directly with the President/CEO to advance VPP’s mission by developing strategic partnerships and managing on-going relationships with regional and national foundations.

Ms. Allen also worked with the world-class strategy firms, Bridgespan, Monitor Deloitte, and McKinsey, to develop strategic plans leading to significant organizational growth. She worked collaboratively with public policy organizations like the Brookings Institution and conducted research on the changing demographics within the DC Region and its impact on the delivery of critical health and human services. Ms. Allen’s prior executive level experience includes the positions of Deputy Director of the Child Welfare League of America and Director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services.

Ms. Allen has an undergraduate degree in sociology from Morgan State University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore. She serves on the boards of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection of Prince George’s County and CENTRI Communities.

Former board service includes: Board of Regents, Morgan State University; Board Member, Year Up-National Capital Region; Board Member, University of Baltimore Foundation, Board Member, United Way of Central Maryland; and Chair, Child and Family Services of Washington, DC.

Ms. Allen resides in Washington, DC with her husband, Lloyd Buckner.

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