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United Way of Northern New Jersey Announces New CEO

MORRISTOWN, N.J. – United Way of Northern New Jersey is pleased to announce the selection of Kiran Handa Gaudioso as its new chief executive officer, effective March 1, 2020. Gaudioso will replace John Franklin, who is retiring after more than 20 years at United Way. 

Gaudioso, of Livingston, has served as United Way’s chief operating officer since 2017, following four years as the organization’s senior vice president of Community Impact and Community Relations. She has overseen strategic planning for how the organization fulfills its mission of improving life for ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households and those in poverty at the local, state and national level.

“Kiran has demonstrated leadership, vision and creativity as she assessed the needs of our region, built critical partnerships and identified strategies to advance lasting, positive change for ALICE,” said United Way Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Michael Gerardi.

In addition to leading the regional United Way, Gaudioso takes the helm as president of the United For ALICE project, which provides a comprehensive look at financial hardship across the country in collaboration with United Ways, corporations, nonprofits and foundations in 21 states.

United Way conducted a six-month search process to replace Franklin, who has led the regional organization since the merger of six community United Ways in 2011. Franklin previously served nine years as CEO of the former United Way of Morris County and is considered the father of the ALICE movement. He championed the ALICE project from its beginnings in Morris County, expanding it to New Jersey and later across the country.

More than 40 candidates were considered during the search process. The search committee’s unanimous recommendation of Gaudioso was accepted by the board, said Board of Trustee Vice Chair Cynthia Chiarella, who co-led the search.

Prior to joining United Way, Gaudioso had a wealth of experience in nonprofit and volunteer management, as well as a lifelong passion for expanding educational and career opportunities for at-risk youth. She spent nine years at New Jersey After 3, which worked to provide quality after-school programs for 15,000 public school students in New Jersey. In her work at other nonprofits and government entities, Gaudioso developed a mentoring program for teens, implemented fundraising strategies, and helped establish AmeriCorps in New Jersey.

“We are confident that Kiran is the right person to lead United Way and build on the strong foundation established by John through powerful local initiatives and the creation of the ALICE project, which is having unprecedented local, state and national impact,” Gerardi said.

“We are excited to welcome Kiran to her new role and are deeply grateful to John for his legacy of dedication and passion to improving life for ALICE and all in our community for over 20 years,” Chiarella added.

For more information about United Way of Northern New Jersey, visit

About United Way of Northern New Jersey 

United Way of Northern New Jersey is a nonprofit organization fighting to improve life for families and individuals in our five-county footprint who are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) or in poverty. We believe when those who are struggling to afford the basics can succeed, all communities win. By focusing on Education, Financial Stability, and Health, we are helping ALICE now and in the long term. We do this through our initiatives that fill gaps in services, community partnerships, public policy work, and volunteer efforts. United Way of Northern New Jersey serves Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties as well as portions of suburban Essex County including the Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Millburn-Short Hills, Montclair, Roseland, and Verona. To learn more, call 973.993.1160 or visit


Laura Bruno
Director, Public Relations
United Way of Northern New Jersey
973.993.1160, x126

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