Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Michael Allen was educated at the University of Manitoba and obtained degrees in Arts (Political Science – 1978) and Law (1984). He served as Executive Assistant to the Attorney-General of Manitoba between 1977–1981.
Mr. Allen was admitted to the Manitoba Bar in 1985 and practiced criminal and civil litigation, administrative and labour law before being appointed Executive Assistant to the Federal Minister of State (Tourism), then Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport). In 1991, he was appointed Chief of Staff to the Federal Minister of Labour, then in 1993, the Minister of Industry and Science and Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada.
From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Allen served as National Director of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada where he successfully organized and managed the plan to restructure and rebuild the Party as a force in Canadian politics – including two national conventions and the 1998 federal election.
In 1998, Mr., Allen joined United Way/Centraide Ottawa as its President and Chief Executive Officer. During his tenure he directed a transformation of the organization from a fundraiser and allocator to a community-builder and investor. Building a consensus among stakeholders and confidence with the public for a new mandate, the result has been reflected in a doubling of its campaign achievement to $26 million and the expansion of United Way’s resource development work.
He is actively engaged in a number of important community endeavours, including a lead role with the Council of Partners for Success by Six as Community Champion for the Provincial Government’s investment in Early Years Centres, the Board of Directors for Crime Prevention Ottawa, Co-Chair for the Community Coalition to Save the Ottawa Senators, and the Council of the Mayor’s Integrated Drug and Addiction Strategy. In addition, he has led the United Way into a number of community leadership roles in areas concerning Internationally Trained Workers, Successful Ageing, Middle Childhood Matters and the Dis-Abilities Coalition.
Married and a parent of three children, Mr. Allen is active as a volunteer in minor hockey, soccer and the public school system.