New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Children’s Aid Society CEO Richard Buery to serve as deputy mayor of special policy initiatives. It is a position conceived by de Blasio, and Buery will oversee many of the new projects related to the mayor’s personal goals.
Among those goals: Providing free, full-day pre-Kindergarten to every child in the city, and launching 100 new community schools that support families in low-income neighborhoods.
It would be hard to imagine someone more tailored to the job than Buery. He has led Children’s Aid Society – one of the city’s most prominent community organizations and surely a key player in the preschool scale-up – for five years.
Before that, Buery, spent his professional time conceiving of and starting organizations. While still an undergraduate at Harvard, Buery co-founded the Mission Hill Summer Program, and then co-founded and served as executive director of iMentor, a New York-based technology education and mentoring program.
Buery is also the co-founder of Groundwork Inc., a Brooklyn nonprofit that helps children who live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty achieve educational and professional success. Recently, Groundwork became a program of the legendary Brooklyn nonprofit, Good Shepherd Services.
In December de Blasio recruited Gladys Carrión, the head of the New York Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to serve as commissioner of the city Administration for Children’s Services, the agency that oversees child welfare and juvenile justice.
Buery will step down at Children’s Aid Society on Feb. 28.
John Kelly is the editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change