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In conversation with Paula Umaña

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey recently welcomed Paula Umaña to the role of managing director, community resiliency.

Learn a bit more about Paula and her journey at United Way:


What drew you to United Way’s mission?  

I have devoted my life to serving and promoting access and building capacity within systems to end the cycles of poverty. United Way's mission resonates with and is in complete alignment with the legacy I intend to leave behind. 

what are you most passionate about in your line of work? 

There is no impact without collaboration and creativity, so I am extremely passionate about bringing strategic partners and ensuring that all voices are represented at the table to design and implement innovative, impactful, and responsive solutions. I believe that if we begin to see ourselves as one ecosystem and unite forces as a collective, we can transform systems into more equitable vehicles to respond to the needs of historically marginalized communities.  

What’s something that you wish more people knew in regard to your work?

It comes from a place of passion and deep commitment to make a genuine difference, improve the quality of life, and promote the well-being of as many communities as possible. 

Do you have a favorite book or inspirational quote that resonates with you?

“When you learn, teach, when you get, give.” ― Maya Angelou 

Do you have a hidden talent?  

At one point in my life, I was a food stylist. I still have fun and can’t help using that approach when I cook

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