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Introducing the 2017 Barr Fellows

Twelve recognized for their leadership and impact within the Greater Boston community.

The Barr Foundation is pleased to announce its newest class of Barr Fellows. Since 2005, Barr has recognized, supported, and connected exemplary leaders from diverse backgrounds, organizations, and fields. An extension of the Foundation’s commitment “to invest in effective, visionary, and collaborative leaders, who motivate others, drive change, and produce results,” the Barr Fellowship centers on three goals:

  1. Recognize and reward accomplished leaders by providing an opportunity for personal and professional rejuvenation.
  2. Strengthen organizations by providing resources to develop and enhance leadership across Fellows’ organizations.
  3. Build civic leadership for the region by fostering a strong network of leaders.

Selected for their outstanding leadership and contributions to the Greater Boston community, the 2017 Barr Fellows are:

Barr Fellows Class of 2017
  • Beth Anderson, CEO and founder, Phoenix Charter Academy Network

  • Clementina Chéry, co-founder, president, and CEO, Louis D. Brown Peace Institute

  • Rev. John Finley, co-founder and head of school, Epiphany School

  • Nigel Jacob, co-founder and co-chair, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics

  • Giles Li, executive director, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

  • Darlene Lombos, executive director, Community Labor United

  • Marty Martinez, president and CEO, Mass Mentoring Partnership

  • Ayele Shakur, regional executive director, BUILD Greater Boston

  • Colby Swettberg, chief executive officer, Silver Lining Mentoring

  • Yusufi Vali, executive director, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center

  • Dania Vázquez, headmaster, Margarita Muñiz Academy

  • David Waters, chief executive officer, Community Servings

"It is our privilege to recognize and support this exceptional group of leaders." –Roger Nozaki

“It is our privilege to recognize and support this exceptional group of leaders,” said Roger Nozaki, Barr Foundation vice president. “Since the Foundation inaugurated the Barr Fellowship in 2005, Barr Fellows have built a remarkable legacy of service and impact in Boston and beyond. We look forward to working with and investing in this newest class—and to seeing what emerges from their individual and collective leadership.”

Members of this sixth class of Barr Fellows will participate in a two-year program that includes a group learning journey, a three-month sabbatical, and facilitated retreats with their cohort. Fellows’ organizations will also receive grants of up to $100,000 from the Foundation to invest in leadership and organizational development and in exploratory projects. To learn more about our new Fellows and their work, please visit the Barr Fellows webpage.

Each new class of Fellows is nominated through a confidential process; there is no application. This year’s selection process began in January with confidential nominations invited from more than 200 individuals, including Foundation staff, alumni of the Barr Fellowship network, and others who have strong knowledge of the diverse leaders working in Greater Boston. After confirmation of nominees’ eligibility, those nominators were invited to review and provide input on eligible candidates. An eight-member selection committee, including three Foundation trustees and five civic leaders, then determined finalists.

In a February blog post, Roger Nozaki described Barr’s continuing commitment to the Fellowship program, as well as some notable changes for this new class, following an extensive review of the program model over the past year. These changes include a significant increase in the amount of grant support provided to each Fellow’s organization, enriched professional development offerings (in particular, a greater focus on systems change and cross-sector collaboration), and expanded eligibility criteria to include leaders from outside the nonprofit sector.

Please join us in congratulating this extraordinary group of leaders.

Congratulations to the new class of Barr Fellows Tweet This

About the Barr Foundation

The Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond. With assets of $1.7 billion, Barr is among the largest private foundations in New England and has contributed more than $834 million to charitable causes since 1999.

Media contact:

Stefan Lanfer
Director of Communications
slanfer[at]barrfoundation.org
617.854.3404

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