Allan Luks

Allan Luks

Advisory Board

Allan Luks

Allan Luks is considered among the top experts on volunteerism, and how helping others can benefit one's emotions and physical health. For four decades he has directed well-known organizations dedicated to helping others. He initiated and led the passage of laws that have had a significant impact on society, and authored several books that garnered praise and recognition from readers and the media alike.

  • Nonprofit Leader
  • Professor
  • Author


Allan Luks lectures, writes, and consults about:

  • Health Benefits of Helping Others
  • Mentoring
  • Volunteerism
  • Social Change

Learn more at

While there are 19,000 nonprofit institutions in New York City, Allan Luks was named "the Nonprofit Leader of the Year" by Crain's New York Business Magazine.

About Allan Luks

After graduation from Georgetown University Law School, Allan became a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Venezuela. In their program for lawyers, he established an ombudsmen's office for the city of Maracay. On his return to the U.S., Luks went on to become a community action lawyer in East Harlem for the Children’s Aid Society. This experience led him to become an Associate Director for a $2 billion inner-city investment fund, created by the life insurance industry—the largest such private fund. He later became an executive officer for the New York office of RAND, one of the nation's best-known think tanks.

Making a Difference

Big Brothers Big Sisters New York

For more than two decades, Allan has led major nonprofit institutions, receiving significant national and international recognition. He worked with the Alcoholism Council of New York, followed by The Institute for the Advancement of Health—focusing on how the mind affects the body, including the benefits experienced by helping others. In 1990, Allan became the Executive Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, the oldest and largest mentoring organization.

Fordham University

Recently, Allan established the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Fordham University, the first center sponsored by both a graduate school of business and graduate school of social service. The Center is the brainchild of Allan Luks, who also serves as its director. It is an intensive and comprehensive program that offers top-notch executive education for leaders and leaders-to-be of nonprofit groups.

Public Policy Milestones

Allan initiated and led the campaigns for the successful adoption of three laws, one of which saves lives, another that saves jobs every day, and one that protects children.

  • • The requirement to post warning posters in New York City bars and restaurants about the risks of birth defects from drinking while pregnant. Passed in 1983, it led to the federal law on all alcoholic beverage bottles and cans.
  • • Pioneered the research that led to the adoption of the New York City law that prevents discrimination against recovered alcoholics in employment and other areas.
  • • Organized and guided more than 140 New York organizations to obtain passage of the Safe Mentoring Act, the first such law in the nation, that became effective in April, 2007.

Publishing Accomplishments

  • “The Healing Power of Doing Good”—recognized for influencing the way the nation’s volunteers are recruited and motivated, by emphasizing the health and stress reduction benefits experienced from helping others.
  • “Will America Sober Up?”—According to The New York Times Book Review, “this book could create a national ‘blueprint’ to use public policies to greatly reduce alcoholism.”
  • “Having Been There”—a collection of stories to understand the human drama about the different phases of addiction. "Having Been There" is more valuable and precise than most textbooks. - N.Y. Times Book Review
  • “You Are What You Drink”—"Think of alcohol as the new cholesterol in your life." - Kirkus Review

Recipient of Many Awards

Allan has been recognized by many organizations and media over the years, including:

  • • The national Lewis Hine Leadership Award for his work helping families and children.
  • • NY1 News named him ‘New Yorker of the Week’ in a special profile aired on TV.
  • • Crain’s New York Business selected him as ‘Nonprofit Leader of the Year’.
  • • Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City established the annual Allan Luks Award for Public Policy.
  • • Visiting Professor, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.
  • • The Marty Mann award for communicating about addiction.

More about Allan Luks

Luks' Publications

The Healing Power of Doing Good [Kindle Edition]You Are What You Drink<br />
Since I Became A Terrorist Target: Encounters and DialoguesHaving Been ThereThe Healing Power of Doing Good: The Health and Spiritual Benefits of Helping Others