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Richard Buery leads priority interagency efforts to increase educational opportunity for New Yorkers and uplift working families through City services. He is the architect of Pre-K for All, the Community Schools Initiative and School’s Out NYC, New York City’s afterschool program for middle school students. He chairs the NYC Children’s Cabinet, oversees the Mayor’s Young Men’s Initiative and has been charged with spearheading the implementation of ThriveNYC to overhaul of the city’s mental health system.
Born and raised in East New York, Brooklyn to immigrant parents, Richard has dedicated his life to improving outcomes for young people in America’s most disadvantaged communities. After graduating from Stuyvesant High School, he matriculated at Harvard College at age 16. As a student there, he co-founded the Mission Hill Summer Program, an enrichment program for children in the Mission Hill Housing Development in the Roxbury section of Boston. He went on to establish two other nonprofit organizations, iMentor and Groundwork, Inc.
A graduate of Yale Law School, Buery served as a law clerk to Judge John M. Walker, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and was a staff attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice. He taught fifth grade at an orphanage in Bindura, Zimbabwe and was the chief political officer and campaign manager to Kenneth Reeves, the mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has taught at the Baruch College School of Public Affairs and New York Law School, teaching courses in social entrepreneurship and the financial management of nonprofit organizations, and has lectured widely at schools including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU, and the University of Michigan.
Richard joined the administration from the Children’s Aid Society, one of New York City’s oldest and largest social service organizations, where he was the youngest president and chief executive officer since the organization was founded in 1863. He led the organization’s efforts to end the cycle of poverty by making long-term investments in children from cradle to college graduation, winning numerous federal, state, local and private grants, and launching a variety of successful programs. His achievements include founding the Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School, a community school that provides rigorous academic instruction and comprehensive social service to high-needs families in the South Bronx. He has served on many nonprofit boards, including the United Way of New York City, the Community Service Society, the Beginning with Children Foundation, Leadership Prep Charter School, and Achievement First East New York Charter School, and served on the advisory board of the New York City Independent Budget Office from 2012 to 2014. He is an elected director of the Harvard Alumni Association and a trustee of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
Richard is an elected director of the Harvard Alumni Association. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Deborah, a law professor, and his two sons. He is a Fellow of the 15th class of the Pahara - Aspen Education Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.