Lauren Y. Casteel 

Lauren Casteel
 Photo courtesy of Kit Williams

Lauren Y. Casteel is President and CEO of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado. She is the first person in Colorado to lead three foundations and possesses more than 20 years of philanthropic leadership as well as a dedication to inclusiveness across gender, racial, economic, ethnic, military, abilities, and sexual orientation perspectives in Denver and throughout Colorado.

As an experienced and recognized advocate for women, children, youth, and families in Colorado, Lauren directs The Foundation’s research agenda, business model, community partnerships, and lobbying efforts. Her trademark is an asset-based approach, in which all parties’ voices and strengths are listened to, respected, and projected for outcomes that benefit all women and girls in Colorado.

Prior to her appointment at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Lauren served at The Denver Foundation for 16 years, most recently as vice president of philanthropic partnerships, the first person to serve in this role. There, she launched The Inclusiveness Project, a program that increased the inclusiveness of people of color at Metro Denver nonprofits. This program changed the face of Colorado’s nonprofit community and engendered national attention when it won the Council on Foundations Critical Impact Award. She also instituted The Denver Foundation’s Nonprofit Internship Program, intending to inspire college students to choose a career in the nonprofit sector. As the vice president of donor services at The Denver Foundation, Lauren helped establish the Reisher Family Scholarship and grow the number of donor advised funds to 400.

From 1996 to 1998, Lauren served as the executive director of The Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation and prior to this she spent six years at The Hunt Alternatives Fund as the executive director, then as the president.

Lauren’s current and past community leadership initiatives include serving as a board member of the Association of Black Foundation Executives as well as the Council on Foundations’ Community Foundations Leadership Team. She also participated in The White House Social Enterprise and Opportunity Series on the Philanthropic Sector and was a founding board member of Qualistar Colorado.

Throughout her career, Lauren has gained numerous accolades. In 2014, Lauren was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. She has been named as one of the 25 most powerful women in 2015 by the Colorado Women’s Chamber; one of the Denver Business Journal’s 2015 Nonprofit/Foundation Newsmakers; a “Timeless Legend” by Denver’s Urban Spectrum Newspaper; received the “Trailblazer Award” from the American Association of University Women, Denver Branch; received the Girl Scout’s “Woman of Distinction” award; and in 2016 she was honored with the Monte Pascoe Civic Leadership Award, to name a few.

Lauren is a frequent speaker, moderator, and panelist, as well as contributor to CausePlanet and Foundation Review.

1901 East Asbury Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 285-2960
wfco@wfco.org

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