President and Chief Executive Officer of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado
Keynote speaker for CMC’s Vail Valley at Edwards campus
Upon joining The Women’s Foundation of Colorado in February 2015, Lauren Y. Casteel became the first person in Colorado to lead three separate foundations. She is known nationally for her leadership in and dedication to excellence and inclusivity in philanthropy.
Through these lenses, Casteel directs the foundation’s 2017-2021 strategic plan; oversees the finance, development, programs and communications teams; and is responsible for the foundation’s assets, which are valued at more than $22.5 million. Her trademark is an asset-based approach, in which all parties’ voices and strengths are listened to, respected and projected for outcomes that benefit women and families of every background and identity.
Prior to WFCO, Casteel served at The Denver Foundation for 16 years, most recently as vice president of philanthropic partnerships. As the first person to serve in the role, she launched the Inclusiveness Project, a program that increased the recruitment and retention of people of color at metro Denver nonprofits. The program changed the face of Colorado’s nonprofit community and garnered 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, Casteel helped establish the Reisher Family Scholarship and grow the number of donor-advised funds to 400.
From 1996 to 1998, she 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.
Casteel serves on the board of the Association of Black Foundation Executives, as well as previously on the Council on Foundations’ Community Foundations Leadership Team and the national taskforce for Community Leadership of Community Foundations Leading Change.
Throughout her career, Casteel has earned numerous accolades, including: Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region’s Civil Rights Award; the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce’s 25 Most Powerful Women Award; AAUW’s Trailblazer Award; the Girl Scouts’ Woman of Distinction Award; the Monte Pascoe Civic Leadership Award; and the Mountain Region Black Economic Summit’s Legacy Award. Additionally, she has been inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.
Casteel is a frequent speaker, moderator and panelist.