In January, 2016, Dr. Charles Desmond, a senior fellow at the New England Board of Higher Education and a higher education policy advisor to former Governor Deval Patrick, was appointed chief executive officer of Inversant, a Boston-based nonprofit that helps families learn about and save for college.
Since 2011, Dr. Desmond has served as a Senior Fellow at the New England Board of Higher Education. In this capacity, he works with the President and the NEBHE board and team members in advancing strategies, programs and resources to enhance education opportunity and address issues related to New England’s human capital and economic competitiveness.
In September 2008 Governor Deval Patrick appointed Dr. Desmond to the Board of Higher Education, and in December 2008 he appointed him to serve as Chair, a position he held until April of 2015. As chairman, he served as a senior higher educational official within the Patrick administration, helping to shape and guide educational policy throughout the Commonwealth.
A Fulbright Scholar, Charlie served from 2002 to 2009 as Executive Vice President of the Trefler Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving educational opportunities and success for Boston’s urban youth. At Trefler, he provided managerial oversight, advocacy and leadership on behalf of the Foundation to strengthen partnerships with Boston Public Schools, and nourished collaborative initiatives between and among philanthropic institutions in order to enhance their impact on urban educational reform.
Prior to Trefler, Charlie worked for 30 years at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with a focus on student affairs and community collaboration. He was Associate Chancellor for School/Community Collaboration, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dean of the College of Public and Community Services, Director of the Department of Pre-Freshman Programs and Project Director of College Preparatory Program/Upward Bound, among other positions. He has also served as a guidance counselor at Northeastern University’s African/American Institute, and in the Boston Public Schools.
Charlie is active in civic and community organizations, including service as President of AARP Massachusetts and as a member of the Review Committee for the Broad Prize in Urban Education, Board of Governors for the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University, Brown University Design Group/Annenberg Institute for School Reform, and Cambridge College Board of Trustees. He was the co-chair of the Urban Educators Corps and is a past president of the Massachusetts Educational Opportunity Association, and he has been active with the American Council on Education, and the Council for Opportunity in Education, among other organizations.
He has received numerous honors and awards from local and national organizations and he is the recipient of three Honorary Doctorates bestowed by: Framingham State University, Westfield State University and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Charlie earned his Ed.D. in instructional leadership from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a B.S. in sociology from Northeastern University. He is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, receiving both Silver and Bronze stars.