Barbara Kelley-Duncan

//Barbara Kelley-Duncan

Barbara Kelley-Duncan

Barbara’s devotion to our country’s most vulnerable children and families developed over 30 years of service as a tireless, passionate leader in the non-profit sector at the national, state, and local levels. Respected as a credible voice in children’s rights, social justice, racial equity, and community empowerment, Barbara earns a seat at the table wherever she serves. Her gift is her innate ability to intuitively see threads of opportunity that wind through an organization or community, bring them together into a coherent whole, and inspire others to extend their thinking about how they might collectively leverage their human and social capital to best serve those less fortunate.

Previously, as CEO of the Carolina Youth Development Center, Barbara secured major gifts from prestigious funders such as The Duke Endowment, the Andrus Family Fund and The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation that enabled her to expand and sustain Charleston’s most comprehensive youth serving organization. Barbara’s ability to bring nationally acclaimed programs such as the Freedom Schools® to the local level and establish the groundbreaking Linda and Tony Baker Career Center for older youth in foster care was informed by her success as a Vice President of the nation’s largest operating foundation, Casey Family Programs, in Seattle, Washington and the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, DC. In these executive positions, Barbara developed expertise in leadership and organizational development, non-profit management, executive coaching, program design and implementation, and coalition building.

Barbara believes in the power of community-based organizations to change lives. She has served as Executive Director of local organizations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey. In New Jersey, she re-constituted an agency that had been dormant for five years. While there, she designed and implemented a Fatherhood Program that was funded by major foundations and won national awards.

Crediting the richness they brought throughout her professional life, Barbara’s commitment to at-risk children and families gained her recognition as one of the 15 Most Influential Women in Business in Charleston by The Charleston Regional Business Journal in 2008; Trident United Way Women’s Leadership Council’s Non-Profit Leader of the Year in 2011; and “20 to Know in North Charleston” by the Post and Courier in 2015. She has also been a guest lecturer at The International Interdisciplinary Course on Children’s Rights in Brussels, Belgium.

Currently, she serves on the Boards of Tri-County Cradle to Career, The Sophia Institute, and the Charleston Freedom School. She was a Leadership New Jersey Fellow and was selected to participate in The Diversity Leadership Institute, Class of 2014, at the Riley Institute of Furman University.

An avid reader and foodie, you can often find Barbara buried deep in a best-selling literary read or in one of Charleston’s many fine dining establishments.