New Commonwealth Fund Names First-Ever President

By Don Seiffert – Managing Editor, Boston Business Journal

Aug 9, 2021, 6:22am EDT

The New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund has named Makeeba McCreary, a Boston native who has been a top executive at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Public Schools in recent years, as its first president.

McCreary will assume the role as of Sept. 7, just over a year after more than a dozen Black and Brown executives from some of Massachusetts’ leading companies launched NCF with the goal of helping communities of color in Boston and other Massachusetts cities. The formation of the NCF came within weeks after the killing of George Floyd and several months into the Covid-19 pandemic.

NCF has so far has raised $30 million toward its initial fundraising goal of $100 million, the organization said in a statement. The money is being used to support nonprofit organizations and “to build an ecosystem of area leaders and stakeholders committed to dismantling systemic racism,” the organization’s leaders said in the statement. So far, NCF has given $3 million to organizations across the state.

McCreary has most recently been the chief of learning and community engagement for the MFA for the past two-and-a-half years. There, she expanded the MFA’s annual roster of community celebrations, establishing the Black Arts and Artists Curators Circle. Before that, McCreary served as managing director and senior advisor of external affairs for the Boston Public Schools, reporting directly to the mayor and superintendent of schools. Prior to that, McCreary managed the philanthropic investment to public schools across the country for Jordan Brand, a division of Nike.

In a statement, McCreary said the mission and purpose of the NCF has resonated with her ever since she first heard of the group’s creation last year.

“I remember the day the fund was announced,” she said. “I recall my first response being one of pure pride that these Black and Brown leaders came together as a collective force to take on a formidable challenge. In a very short time, they’ve made an incredible impact — one that goes beyond their individual institutional connections. I was so moved by the fact that they were locking arms, joining forces, and doing so unapologetically for an intention that will make this a city and state of which our children and children’s children will be full, successful agents of continuing change.”

McCreary was selected from a pool of candidates following a six-month nationwide search led by a committee of NCF’s founders, the organization said. Executive search firm Koya Partners helped in the search.

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