Dr. Charles Desmond is the chief executive officer of Inversant, a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that through parental engagement every low-to-moderate income family has the resources and understanding they need to achieve their goals for higher education. He was Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and a policy advisor to former Governor Deval Patrick. Under Charles’ leadership, Inversant has moved to the forefront of the Children’s Savings Account (CSA) movement by establishing relationships in both the private and public sector. In his short tenure with Inversant, he has helped establish new programs in the Salem and Revere Public School Systems, as well as being instrumental in spearheading a five-city partnership with the Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office to launch SoarMA, a program that helps parents of 7th-grade students to open Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs).
A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Desmond 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. Prior to Trefler, Dr. Desmond worked for more than 30 years at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with a focus on student affairs and community collaboration. He has also served as a guidance counselor at Northeastern University’s African/American Institute, and in the Boston Public Schools.
Dr. Desmond 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 and executive director 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.
Dr. Desmond 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 Vietnam veteran of the U.S. Army, receiving both Silver and Bronze stars.