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Building a Bold Future

A Conversation with Tonya Allen

Tonya Allen, president of the McKnight Foundation, is all about being bold. Chanda spoke with Tonya about building and sharing power, and how that relates to one’s ability to rewrite the rules. Tonya also addressed the idea of blending the lines between philanthropy and community.

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About Our Guest

Tonya Allen

Tonya Allen is president of the McKnight Foundation and heads an all-women, majority people-of-color senior leadership team and a diverse staff of about 50. Throughout her 25-year career, she has been a bridge-builder and a civic diplomat. Tonya has led successful philanthropic, business, government, and community partnerships that catalyze fresh thinking, test new approaches, and advance public policy. A champion of diversity, inclusion, and equity practices, Tonya is driven by her passion for justice. She also chairs the Council on Foundations, is co-chair for the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, and has served on many other philanthropic boards. Tonya’s leadership and advisory capabilities extend to the government sector, but her career started working with residents, parents, and faith-leaders in neighborhoods. Tonya is a well-regarded and thought-provoking public speaker, author, media contributor, and advisor.