Dr. Charles Desmond is a member of the MHTL Advisory Board, advising on matters in private, non-profit, public, and educational areas. Dr. Desmond has broad and extensive experience at the senior-most levels of government, higher education, philanthropy, and in non-governmental agencies. His leadership accomplishments range from chairing the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education to initiating multi-layered corporate and philanthropic engagements in local, regional and national educational initiatives. As a policy analyst and senior advocacy expert, Dr. Desmond has four decades of direct experience working at the local and national level and has developed an expansive knowledge of diverse sectors, including banking and financial services, life sciences, and equity and diversity matters in the academic and corporate sectors.
On January 1, 2021, Robert and Diane Hildreth appointed Dr. Charles Desmond to serve as President of the Hildreth Stewart Charitable Foundation (HSCF). HSCF is a Boston-based family foundation that funds, supports, and collaborates with nonprofit organizations committed to a just, equitable, and sustainable society. Since its founding, HSCF has been a philanthropic leader with a primary strategic mission to address economic and educational issues impacting low and moderate-income families from diverse social and cultural backgrounds.
Prior to joining the Hildreth Stewart Foundation, from 2016 until 2021, Charlie was the Chief Executive Officer of Inversant, the largest parent-centered children’s savings account initiative in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In September 2008 Governor Deval Patrick appointed him 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 education official within the Patrick administration, helping to shape and guide educational policy throughout the Commonwealth.
He served from 2002 to 2009 as Executive Vice President of the Trefler Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving educational opportunities and success of Boston’s urban youth.
Prior to Trefler, he 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.
Charlie has been 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; Trustee, Columbia University Teachers College; Board of Governors for the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University; Brown University Design Group/Annenberg Institute for School Reform; and Chair, 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 was a founding member and a past-president of 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.
A Fulbright Scholar, 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.