Who We Are

An important component of the YVP Collaborative effort is to evolve a shared leadership model. An Advisory Committee of agency, business, and thought leaders provides insight into youth violence prevention and serve as Collaborative Ambassadors to the greater community. A leadership team comprised of co-chairs and content experts identify how best to operationalize and support key strategic actions. Members of three working groups - Family Supports and Mental Health, Workforce Development and Education, and Youth Development and Mentoring - engage in learning and dialog to determine those strategic actions.

State Street Foundation is providing direction and oversight for the development of the YVP Collaborative guided by an Advisory Committee with input from working group co-chairs and members. State Street Foundation has engaged the services of Root Cause to provide research, analysis, facilitation of working groups, and overall collaborative support.


State Street Foundation Lead

  • Sheila Peterson


Advisory Committee

  • Reverend Jeffery Brown is co-founder of the Boston Ten Point Coalition, which was started in 1992. The Ten Point Coalition is an ecumenical group of Christian clergy and lay leaders working to mobilize the Christian community around issues affecting black youth--especially at-risk youth issues such as violence, drug abuse and other destructive behaviors. In 1997, Reverend Brown helped launch the national Ten Point Leadership Foundation, an umbrella organization for churches interested in the Ten Point Plan. In 1999, Brown founded Ten Point International, designed with the same mission and focus as its parent organization. In addition, Reverend Brown created Positive EDGE in 1993, which provides city street advocacy, court advocacy and outreach ministry for at-risk youth. Reverend Brown is a Master of Divinity graduate of the Andover Newton Theological School. He also attended Harvard Divinity School, concentrating in American Church History.
  • Barbara Ferrer, Ph.D., MPH, M.Ed., is the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. Dr. Ferrer was appointed to lead the Commission in 2007 based on her years of public health experience and her commitment to serving the needs of all Bostonians, particularly vulnerable populations. She had previously spent five years as the Commission's Deputy Director where she played a key role working on topics from AIDS to developing strategies to reduce Boston's infant mortality rate, and in launching the city's groundbreaking work to end racial and ethnic health disparities. She earned a Masters in Public Health from Boston University, and a Doctorate from Brandeis University's Heller School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare where she was also a Pew Doctoral Fellow.
  • Neil Maniar, MPH, is the Director of Health Equity Programs at the Brigham and Women's Hospital Center for Community Health and Health Equity. Before joining Brigham and Women's Hospital, Maniar developed and directed the Youth Violence Prevention Program in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and co-chaired the Massachusetts Coalition for Youth Violence Prevention. Prior to that, he served as an injury prevention analyst for the Department of Public Health, a strategic planning and evaluation consultant at the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and in several research positions at Yale University. Maniar earned his PhD from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and his MPH from Yale University.
  • Claudio Martinez is the Executive Director of The Hyde Square Task Force, an organization that builds the skills of inner-city youth through innovative arts and cultural, leadership, lifelong learning, economic development and community organizing initiatives. Claudio has over 20 years of managerial experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors and has served as an advisor to several governmental, non-profit and transnational initiatives including Boston Housing Authority’s Monitoring Committee, Boston University Institute of Nonprofit Management and Leadership and the Boston-Haifa NGO Learning Exchange.  As a community organizer, neighborhood activist and parent, Claudio has been involved in Boston school reform efforts for the last 20 years. He served for many years as co-chair of the Boston Parent Organizing Network and a board member of the Latino After School Initiative and the Boston Schoolyard Initiative. He also sits on the Board of Directors of The Boston Foundation, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and Boston After School and Beyond. He is a member of the inaugural class of the Barr Foundation Fellows Program. In 2008, he was appointed by Mayor Menino to the Boston School Committee.
  • Eli Newberger, M.D., a leading figure in the movement to improve the protection and care of children, is renowned for his ability to bring together good sense and science on the main issues of family life. A pediatrician and author of many influential works on child abuse, he teaches at Harvard Medical School and founded the Child Protection Team and the Family Development Program at Children's Hospital in Boston. From his research and practice he has derived a philosophy that focuses on the strength and resilience of parent-child relationships, and a practice oriented to compassion and understanding, rather than blame and punishment. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with his wife Carolyn, a developmental and clinical child psychologist.
  • Randal Rucker has served as Executive Director of Family Service of Greater Boston since 1996. He is responsible for the overall executive, clinical, financial, fundraising and strategic planning operations of this leading Boston health and human services agency, which serves over 6,500 persons per year, with 220 staff and 100 volunteers. In recent years Randal has developed with the Board of Trustees and senior staff a paradigm-changing strategic plan. He holds a Master's in City Planning from MIT.
  • George Russell is executive vice president and director of Corporate Citizenship for State Street Corporation. He has more than 30 years of experience in banking and finance, beginning his career at State Street Bank & Trust Company in Boston. Mr. Russell served as treasurer and chief financial officer of the City of Boston, and president and chief executive officer of Freedom National Bank of New York. In addition to managing State Street's Corporate Citizenship division, Mr. Russell is the chairman of the board and president of the State Street Foundation and responsible for State Street's philanthropic and community support programs globally. He is past chairman of the board for both the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts and the Financial Services Academy. He currently serves on the board of directors of Tufts Health Plan Foundation and the board of trustees of the Massachusetts Math & Science Initiative.  Mr. Russell is a graduate of Clark University and received his MBA in finance from New York University's Stern School of Business.
  • John Verre is the Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Student Services in the Boston Public Schools.  He was the founder and first principal of the McKinley Schools for students with socio-emotional-behavioral disabilities from 1978 to 1991.  He has since served as an educational and organizational consultant, providing technical assistance and support to state departments of education, school districts, and other organizations and agencies in areas such as civil rights and regulatory compliance, program evaluation and development, and organizational assessment.  After six years of experience supporting agencies and corporations across the country, John founded the non-profit COMPASS Consulting in 1997.  From 1993 to 2009, John was the Co-Chair of the Harvard Institute on Critical Issues in Urban Special Education.  John holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Trinity College, a Masters in Education from Lesley University, and a Masters in Administration from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.


Working Group Leadership Teams

Family Supports and Mental Health Working Group

Leadership Team:

  • Deborah Allen, Boston Public Health Commission (Public Sector Co-Chair)
  • Peg Sprague, United Way of MA Bay and Merrimack Valley (Private Sector Co-Chair)
  • Neil Maniar, Brigham and Women's Hospital (Lead Content Expert)


Youth Workforce Development and Education Working Group

Leadership Team:

  • Conny Doty, Boston Jobs and Community Services (Public Sector Co-Chair)
  • Sheila Peterson, State Street Foundation (Private Sector Co-Chair)
  • Neil Sullivan, Boston Private Industry Council (Lead Content Expert)


Youth Development and Mentoring Working Group

Leadership Team:

  • Daphne Griffin, City of Boston (Public Sector Co-Chair)
  • Audrey Jordan, Boston Rising (Private Sector Co-Chair)
  • Marty Martinez, Mass Mentoring Partnership (Lead Content Expert)