Children's Aid Society (CAS), which provides a range of programs for 150,000 New York City youth each year, has hired Richard Buery Jr., a veteran of the youth development field, to be its next CEO.
Buery will take command of CAS in October as its third leader since 1980. He replaces current C. Warren Moses, who has overseen the organization since Philip Coltoff retired in 2005. Moses, who was worked at CAS for 40 years, will retire in September.
Buery is the co-founder and executive director of Groundwork Inc., a Brooklyn nonprofit that helps children who live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty achieve educational and professional success.
It is his third startup. While still an undergraduate at Harvard, Buery co-founded the Mission Hill Summer Program, and more recently co-founded and served as executive director of iMentor, a technology education and mentoring program that began in New York and is in the process of a national expansion.
In Children's Aid Society, Buery inherits a widely renowned operator whose influence reaches beyond its 45 sites in New York. Its pregnancy prevention program, developed by Dr. Michael Carrera, has received millions of dollars for replication in and out of the city. Though the program's ultimate goal is pregnancy prevention, the Carrera model includes a range of services for youth that includes tutoring, job training and health and dental care.
Its staff of 2,000 includes 1,200 full-time employees, including Youth Today columnist Jane Quinn, and 800 part-time employees.
But like scores of other New York-based charities, Children's Aid Society has struggled financially of late. CAS posted $13 million deficits for 2007 and 2008, and since then has been plagued by the state budget cuts and a drop in philanthropic dollars that followed Wall Street's collapse.
It suffered a major setback in late 2008 when the Picower Foundation closed its doors. The foundation, a victim of the Bernie Madoff scam, gave New York nonprofit Children's Aid Society $3 million over the past 10 years, most recently to help replicate the pregnancy prevention and early childhood obesity prevention programs.
"There is no doubt it leaves a hole," Chief Operating Officer Bill Weisberg said at the time. "We have to scale them back and find new funders." The organization experienced a 3 percent cut in staff size from last fiscal year, according to spokeswoman Ellen Lubell.
Buery's experience in building organizations will be an enormous asset, said Angela Diaz, who is president of the organization's board of trustees.
He has "taken a social entrepreneurial approach to finding solutions for tough issues, and his emphases on accountability and on outcomes make him an excellent choice to lead The Children's Aid Society in this environment," said Diaz in a statement.