Chris Rosson, President & CEO
A native of Kansas City, Chris Rosson grew up in a single-parent, low-income home in one of the city’s highest violent crime rate neighborhoods. A first-generation high school and college graduate, he graduated summa cum laude from both William Jewell College (BA Business Administration & Economics) and Johns Hopkins University (MA International Economics & International Relations), studied philosophy and politics at Oxford University, and was featured as one of the top twenty college students in the country by USA Today. Chris formerly served as an advisor to the Governor of Missouri, a public affairs specialist with the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Washington, D.C., a George Mitchell Scholar in Ireland, and a program manager with the Federal Reserve System. Early in his career, he also traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, where he specialized in research on the social and economic dynamics at the intersection of extreme poverty and global security.
From 2015-21, Chris was Executive Director at Teach For America (TFA) Kansas City, where he advocated for educational equity in his hometown and worked to recruit, develop and support outstanding leaders to teach, lead and serve throughout the city’s urban core, including in the neighborhood in which Chris was raised. While there, Chris transformed TFA’s Kansas City operation into the gold standard for regional excellence within the national TFA network, and the Kansas City region consistently led the country in financial performance, staff diversity/equity/inclusiveness, participant experience, student achievement, partner satisfaction, brand reach, and more. An entrepreneur at heart, Chris also pioneered new service offerings at TFA that made it possible for the region to serve historically high numbers of students, families, teachers, and school sites, while diversifying the organization’s portfolio of product offerings. Building off his leadership in this area, he founded and led TFA’s first-ever National Product Innovation Office.
Since 2021, Chris has served as President and CEO of United Way of Greater Kansas City, where he works to ensure that all people in Kansas City – regardless of race, income, or zip code – have access to health, education, and financial stability. At the helm of one of the largest and most visible philanthropic entities in the region, Chris works collaboratively with the major civic, corporate, and labor organizations along with a wide network of nonprofit and philanthropic groups to engineer smart, sustainable solutions to the community’s most pressing and persistent challenges. During his tenure at United Way, Chris launched a new organizational Strategic Vision that called for a significant reinvention of its business model and community investment practices, built a high-performing diverse team to conduct this massive change effort, executed a sweeping rebrand of the 100-year-old organization, and cultivated a workplace environment that has been certified as a Great Place to Work®. In 2022, Chris was featured as one of Ingram’s 250 Most Powerful and Influential Business Leaders in Greater Kansas City as well as the Kansas City Business Journal’s 20 to Know in Nonprofits.
In his personal life, Chris proudly serves on the Board of Directors for William Jewell College and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library Institute, and he enjoys travel and activities with his wife KC and five daughters Lily, Violet, Iris, Ivy, and Willow.