Shirley Marcus Allen

Morino Ventures – Senior Advisor, Equity and Community Affairs | Leap Ambassadors support team – Senior Advisor, Equity

Shirley is a Senior Advisor, Equity and Community Affairs for Morino Ventures, LLC, and Senior Advisor, Equity for the Leap Ambassadors support team. She was introduced to Mario’s youth development work in the late 90s and inspired by his approach to helping to build effective nonprofit organizations. She served as a Partner with Venture Philanthropy Partners for 11 years, working closely with Mario to make significant investments in some of the highest performing youth-serving organizations in the Greater Washington Region.

Prior to VPP, Shirley held executive-level positions focused on children, youth and families including Deputy Director for the Child Welfare League of America and Director, Baltimore City Department of Social Services. Her entire professional career has been focused on working with communities to improve the life outcomes for children and youth, especially those residing in under-resourced communities.

With a deep commitment to lifelong learning and growth, and facilitating social change, she uses her voice to recognize, call out, and act against bias and injustice.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Morgan State University where she served on the Board of Regents for 16 years, chairing the Academic and Student Affairs Committee. She also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore where she was honored as the Alumnus of the Year. She also served on the University of Baltimore Foundation board of directors.

Having served on numerous nonprofit boards, her seven years of service on the Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield board helped her to better understand the intersectionality of public health and human services.

She and her husband Lloyd reside in Washington, DC ,but spend a great deal of time at their vacation home in West Virginia where they both painstakingly work to improve their golf game.

The Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community is a private community of experts and leaders who believe that mission and performance are inextricably linked. Our resources are collaboratively developed and offered to the field to support organizations on their journeys to high performance.

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