Buery Brings Education, Policy, and Nonprofit Experience to Role
Robin Hood is a 501(c) (3) organization and not affiliated with any for-profit businesses that use a similar name
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization, Robin Hood, announced Richard Buery, Jr. will be leading the organization as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective September 2021. Buery will bring extensive experience in nonprofit and civic leadership to Robin Hood, after serving in leadership roles with Robin Hood partners like Achievement First and Children’s Aid, and as a Deputy Mayor of New York City.
Buery’s appointment comes after a thorough national CEO search with Russell Reynolds, led by a CEO search committee chaired by board vice chair Dina Powell McCormick, and comprised of Robin Hood’s founder Paul Tudor Jones, board chair John Griffin, and board members Geoffrey Canada and Mary Callahan Erdoes.
“We are proud to name Richard Buery Jr. as the new CEO of Robin Hood,” said Dina Powell McCormick, Global Head of Sustainability and Inclusive Growth at Goldman Sachs and vice chair of the board at Robin Hood. “After an extensive and thorough process, the search committee unanimously agreed that he has the experience, leadership, and commitment to serving the most vulnerable in New York and will enable us to help families regain their footing, get kids back on track, and New Yorkers back to work.”
“I have spent my life and career working on behalf of New York City families, and Robin Hood has been a part of that journey every step of the way. Leading Robin Hood at this moment of profound transformation in our City, one that poses significant risks and possibilities for its most vulnerable residents, is truly the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Richard Buery, Jr., incoming CEO at Robin Hood. “I am so grateful to Robin Hood for their faith in me, and I am excited about the opportunity to work with our staff, our donors, and especially our partners as we fight poverty in New York City.”
Buery brings a lifetime of experience as a New Yorker to Robin Hood. He was born and raised in Brooklyn’s East New York. At just 16 years old, Buery graduated from Stuyvesant High School and attended Harvard. He later earned a law degree from Yale, and he brought his talent and skills home to put them to work immediately. He currently serves as the CEO of Robin Hood’s community partner Achievement First, a charter school network of 37 schools across Brooklyn, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.
“Rich Buery is a seasoned fundraiser, leader, and policy advocate for the people of New York City. Among the candidates, Rich stood out to the Search Committee as the top choice to lead Robin Hood forward due to his inspiring and bold vision, intellectual depth, and his proven track record of institutional leadership,” said John Griffin, Founder of Blue Ridge Capital and Robin Hood board chair. “We could not be more certain that Rich is the right leader for Robin Hood at this critical moment as we seek to help rebuild a (new) New York.”
Notably, Buery served as Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives for the City of New York where he was a key architect of the city’s Pre-K for All initiative, enabling 50,000 additional 4-year-olds to get an early start on their education at what we now know is the most formative time of child’s life. While at City Hall, he launched a universal after school program and 200 new community school partnerships, as well as managing the city’s mental health reform initiative. He founded the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises, and the city’s Department of Veterans Services, and managed several other city agencies and offices.
Buery has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. He has worked for, led, or been closely affiliated with four major nonprofits that are among our grantees, including the Brennan Center at NYU’s School of Law, KIPP Foundation, Children’s Aid, and of course, Achievement First. Additionally, he founded Groundwork to support the educational aspirations of public housing residents in Brooklyn, and was the co-founder of the national non-profit, iMentor, which pairs high school students with mentors to help them navigate to and through college.
Among his many accomplishments are Buery’s work as a civil rights attorney and as a fifth-grade teacher at an orphanage in Zimbabwe. He was also a Pahara-Aspen Institute Education Fellow (2016) and a fellow of the British American Project (2012). Buery has been recognized on Ebony’s list of “30 under 30” and Crain’s “40 under 40,” as well as being honored by the United Negro College Fund with a humanitarianism award. Additionally, he has lectured at the Baruch College of Public Affairs and New York Law School, and he serves on the boards of the Kresge Foundation, iMentor, and New York City Head Start.
“As the founder of Robin Hood, I am beyond delighted to welcome Richard Buery, Jr. to the Robin Hood family at a time when Robin Hood has never been stronger,” said Paul Tudor Jones II; Founder, Co-Chairman, and Chief Investment Officer of Tudor Investment Corporation and Founder of Robin Hood. “Richard lives and breathes this city, and what it means to be Robin Hood. He has an abundance of the most important qualification to lead Robin Hood: kindness. We look forward to great things he will help us accomplish in the years ahead.”
“Throughout the search process, Richard Buery, Jr. was evaluated against six core competencies, including managerial/operational skills, setting strategy and leadership agility, programmatic knowledge, communications and fundraising, relationship-building, and a demonstration of deep caring for New York City and Robin Hood’s shared organizational values,” said Mary Callahan Erdoes, Chief Executive Officer of J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management and Robin Hood board member. “Richard absolutely captures everything we were hoping to find in Robin Hood’s next leader, and we are proud to have him join the organization.”
“Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City is facing one of its greatest challenges, but also one of its greatest opportunities,” said Geoffrey Canada, President of Harlem Children’s Zone and Robin Hood board member. “Richard Buery, Jr.’s experience has prepared him superbly to meet this moment, and to ensure that Robin Hood is best positioned to help rebuild a city that serves every New Yorker on the road to recovery.”
Robin Hood’s Chief Operating Officer, Derek Ferguson, will continue to act as the interim CEO until Buery joins the organization in September. Ferguson has been serving as Robin Hood’s Chief Operating Officer since December 2017 and has been acting as its transitional leader since May when the former CEO, Wes Moore, departed the organization.
About Robin Hood
Robin Hood has been fighting poverty in New York City since 1988. Because Robin Hood’s board covers administrative expenses, every dollar donated is invested in poverty-fighting programs that create meaningful change for those in need. Last year, Robin Hood awarded $172 million in grants, filling a critical void during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing cash assistance, meals, housing, healthcare, and other urgent needs to one million New Yorkers, as well as funding an array of programs and initiatives developed to directly address the systemic underpinnings of poverty in New York City. To learn more, visit www.robinhood.org.
Reactions from the social-impact community:
“I have known Rich Buery for over 20 years, and he is an extraordinary leader who has fought valiantly for equity at every turn of his career. Rich deeply understands the importance of creating opportunity for every child, regardless of background. Together, Robin Hood and Rich will be a formidable team in the fight against poverty,” said Stacey Abrams, activist and Founder of Fair Fight Action.
“Richard Buery, Jr. understands what is needed to lift New Yorkers out of poverty and launch them on sustainable pathways to upward mobility. His extraordinary passion for educational equity is perhaps unmatched, ranging from leadership of several top tier youth-serving nonprofits to managing New York City’s successful implementation of large scale, transformative initiatives such as Pre-K for All, School’s Out for NYC, and the Community Schools. In the realm of economic equity, under Richard’s leadership, New York City exceeded $1 billion of spending with women and minority owned businesses for the first time in its history. It is with great expectation that I look forward to his leadership of Robin Hood,” said Colvin W. Grannum, President and CEO of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.
“I’m excited that Rich Buery will be the CEO of Robin Hood. His experience with the nonprofit, education, and government sectors will help Robin Hood as it expands its efforts to promote racial and economic equity. We are grateful for Robin Hood’s partnership on our innovative workforce development programs, COVID-19 relief efforts, and strategic initiatives like Mobility LABs. We look forward to continuing to work together to address poverty and other issues facing the Asian American community,” said Wayne Ho, President and CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council.
“Richard Buery is a first generation American raised in Brooklyn’s East New York who went on to attend Harvard and Yale University, and lead New York City through pivotal change in the education and equity space. He is the living embodiment of economic mobility at its best. He’s someone I’ve been fortunate to work with and admire for many years, and I have no doubt that Robin Hood will do great things with Richard at its helm,” said Kaya Henderson, CEO of Reconstruction and a Robin Hood board member.
“Richard Buery is an inspired choice to lead Robin Hood. By working at the highest levels as a social entrepreneur, educator, and policymaker, Richard brings a rare combination of experiences to tackle the urgent mission of fighting poverty. I am excited to work with him to further new employment models that advance livelihoods for New York’s most deserving communities,” said Jukay Hsu, Founder and CEO of Pursuit.
“In Rich Buery, Robin Hood has found the perfect leader for a time that demands a nuanced, yet deeply strategic and disciplined, philanthropic approach to dismantling the structural drivers of racial inequality and injustice for the residents of New York City. Rich has demonstrated that he can navigate among the public, the private, and the nonprofit realms with the kind of deftness that enables collaboration and produces tangible results. He has dedicated his career to illuminating and fortifying pathways out of poverty, drawing on an understanding that direct services to vulnerable people create a bridge to the kind of policy reform that enhances their economic and social mobility. He embraces the transformative power of compassionate, principled generosity. He personifies the kind of selfless leadership that has been the hallmark of Robin Hood’s three decades of service. There is nobody better suited to take the organization into its next chapter,” said Rip Rapson, President and CEO of The Kresge Foundation.
“I want to congratulate Robin Hood on the selection of Rich Buery as their next CEO. He is the right person at the right time for Robin Hood and for New York City. Rich will bring years of experience in social change and innovation to Robin Hood, in addition to his intricate knowledge of how New York City works. I’m excited to have a visionary leader with a track record of results and inclusivity such as Rich as a partner at Robin Hood. The entire CUNY family welcomes this announcement and looks forward to working with Rich and his team in the years ahead,” said Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Chancellor of The City University of New York (CUNY).
“Rich Buery is the perfect leader for Robin Hood at this most critical juncture in the organization and in the country. His knowledge of the community, his leadership on educational equity, and his deep experience in politics and policy make him the ideal leader of Robin Hood. As the country grapples with the systemic barriers of poverty and racism, they have found the ideal leader who will take the organization to the next level,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“I have known Rich for too many years to count and he has always been dedicated to the service of others. He has always been in the forefront of fighting poverty and uplifting education. He is one of the most creative, innovative people in the public service sphere. I think his appointment as CEO is the perfect marriage between an organization and an individual. I know together, he and Robin Hood will achieve great things for the people most in need in New York City,” said Dennis M. Walcott, President and CEO of Queens Public Library.
“For decades Robin Hood has risen to the occasion to provide support, stability, and security for New Yorkers struggling with poverty. In the wake of the pandemic, those needs have only grown greater. Not only has Richard Buery, Jr. been a longtime advocate for the people of this city, he has the experience, perspective, and dedication to usher in Robin Hood’s next chapter and help countless New Yorkers find solid ground,” said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation.