Mattapan native Scott-Chandler will take over the helm at ABCD

The region’s top anti-poverty agency has selected a Mattapan native to take charge as its next president and CEO. The Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Board of Directors said this week that Sharon Scott-Chandler, Esq., the agency’s longtime executive vice president/COO will replace John J. Drew, who retired last June after 51 years at ABCD.

Scott-Chandler joined ABCD in 1999 as the director of its early education, care resource and referral program. She went on to become vice president of ABCD Head Start & Children’s Services, during which time she was appointed chair of the Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care, before moving to the executive office. 

“I am both humbled and inspired by the faith that the ABCD board of directors has shown in passing the torch to me,” Scott-Chandler said in a statement. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from Bob Coard and to have worked so closely with John Drew for the last 13 years.

“We evolved and innovated our way through years of economic crises, social and political upheaval, and a global pandemic that devastated the communities we serve.”

Born and raised in Mattapan, Scott-Chandler participated in the METCO program throughout her K-12 schooling.  She has a JD from Northeastern University School of Law and a political science degree from Tufts University.

She began her career in the political arena first as a staff member on the Dukakis for President Campaign, and then as a legislative aide to Congressman Sidney Yates in Washington.

After law school, Scott-Chandler joined the then- Boston law firm of Morrison, Mahoney and Miller before moving on to serve as Assistant Attorney General under Scott Harshbarger.

She plans to launch her new role with a series of conversations with board members, visits to ABCD’s many neighborhood centers and 31 Head Start early education facilities, and outreach to stakeholders in the community.

The organization offers some 75 programs and services to assist and uplift under-resourced people and families through proven and innovative programs, including Head Start and Early Head Start, youth development and career training, food security, housing and homelessness prevention, ESOL and immigration services, fuel assistance and climate equity and impact, elder services, and more. 

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