FFWPU-USA Legal Affairs Director Retires After 40 Years
Forty years ago, Kaye Allen, a young criminal lawyer and Unificationist, joined the national headquarters office of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) USA in New York City. Now, she is retiring from her longtime position as the FFWPU-USA director of legal affairs. It’s been a whirlwind journey, from 1980 to 2020, where Kaye left behind her life in New Zealand for a spiritual path that ultimately led her to the Unification movement.
“I grew up in a world away, in Balclutha, New Zealand,” said Kaye, reflecting on her life’s course. “It’s a town of about 8,000 people and there were not a lot of options for women who were coming out of high school.” But early on, Kaye knew she wanted to pursue a legal career and help people. “I decided I wanted to be a lawyer and go to law school, which was fairly unusual at that time,” said Kaye. “There were only four or five women in my class of about 60 people.”
Undeterred, Kaye excelled and practiced criminal law in her hometown, eventually gaining a partnership at a local firm. But in 1978, her adventurous spirit and love of travel quickly carried her to South America, and then the U.S., where she connected with the Unification movement in Oakland, California. “When I heard my first lecture, I knew it was the truth and I had to stay,” said Kaye. “It was a struggle and it was difficult, but I just knew it was the right thing to do.”
Kaye never looked back. Armed with new knowledge and her legal education, she devoted herself to volunteer projects before coming to work as a legal assistant at FFWPU-USA in 1980. Two years later, she received the Marriage Blessing to her husband, Russell, at Madison Square Garden. But in 1984, FFWPU-USA co-founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon was unjustly imprisoned in Danbury, Connecticut, for tax evasion. “It was a traumatic time and the legal office was at the center of an enormous amount of activity during his trial,” said Kaye.
Still, Kaye found solace in her faith and legal ability, remaining determined to muscle through all the challenges. Kaye’s fighting spirit and warm heart has inspired many of her peers, including her newly appointed successor, FFWPU-USA Director of Legal Affairs Olga Majitova. “I was tired of corporate law in Europe and wanted to offer my skills toward something bigger,” said Olga. “I came to headquarters in 2013 and became Kaye’s assistant. She is an extremely caring person, and also righteous, diligent, and patient. As a mentor, she’s very sensitive and understanding to your needs. She always focused on others and put the needs of the providence first.”
Kaye quickly became a motherly figure to those who knew her, including Olga. “We celebrated some holidays together, and she would bring everyone in the office souvenirs from her travels. We felt like a family and she would always take responsibility for everything in the office, even our mistakes.” Raised in a family of seven siblings, Kaye grew up family oriented with a heart of service. Now, as a grandmother of three, she has expanded her love far and wide—with her children scattered from Hawaii, to Seattle, to Minnesota, to Queens, New York, where she and her husband have lived for many years.
“I’m grateful to True Parents for giving me a better understanding of life and what to do,” said Kaye. True Parents is an affectionate term for Rev. Moon and his wife Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. Kaye said their example set the tone for her life and purpose. “I always felt that 2020 was a significant year,” said Kaye. “So when True Mother was really focusing on the vision for 2020, I really wanted to support her.”
Now as she enters retirement, Kaye is anticipating what’s to come. “I’m excited to see Olga taking over the position with a fresh new perspective,” said Kaye. “I think it’s great for the legal office to have this direction and move into a new realm.” While Kaye leaves behind decades of legal service under nine distinguished national presidents at FFWPU-USA, her next chapter is blossoming as quickly as spring. “I’m looking forward to connecting even more with True Parents’ heart, and spending more time with my children and grandchildren. I’m also excited about gardening; it’s one of my biggest passions.”