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May 18, 2022
Reach Out and Read Selects Marty Martinez as New CEO
Marty Martinez
Marty Martinez

February 8, 2022 — Reach Out and Read, a Boston-based national nonprofit that advocates school readiness through reading, yesterday announced it appointed Marty Martinez, currently chief of health and human services for the City of Boston, as chief executive officer.

Martinez, who will start in the job on Feb. 14, succeeds Brian Gallagher, who served with Reach Out and Read for 15 years, the last seven as chief executive officer.

Dipesh Navsaria, Reach Out and Read’s national board chair, said, “Marty Martinez’s experience in public health melded with his service mindset makes him a fantastic choice to lead us in our mission to ensure that families nationally feel confident, capable, and comfortable sharing books with their young children.”

As chief of health and human services for the City of Boston, Martinez led the city in meeting the needs of its citizens during the course of some of the most pressing recent social and community challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that, he served as president and CEO of Mass Mentoring Partnership, where he led hundreds of mentoring and youth development programs across Massachusetts. Earlier, he was a director of the Boston AIDS Consortium.

"I am excited to join Reach Out and Read in the next chapter of the story of this amazing organization. I am looking forward to working with the committed staff, board members, affiliate leaders, volunteers and supporters as we continue to lead our efforts to strengthen healthy child development and build stronger communities across the country,” said Martinez.

Former Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh, said, “Marty Martinez is not only a strong leader and a great manager, but he is deeply committed to strengthening communities by lifting those who need it most. I saw it firsthand when he worked for me at City Hall as the Chief of Health and Human Services. Reach Out and Read is lucky to have him bring those skills to their workplace and I look forward to seeing the impact of his work across the country.”

Martinez earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and communication from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a Master of Arts degree in social and urban policy and nonprofit management from Tufts University.

Founded in 1989, Reach Out and Read aims to give every young child in the United States a foundation for success, strengthen society, and help combat the effects of income inequality by sharing the power of reading with families of all backgrounds and economic means. Today, it serves 4.2 million children nationally. In 2018, Reach Out and Read introduced an early math initiative to address the math gap that appears in early childhood and predicts math achievement as far as 8th grade.

In a letter announcing his decision to step down last July, Gallagher wrote, “I have decided it is the right time for me to step down as CEO. This was indeed a difficult decision to make, as it has been such an incredible honor to lead and to serve this amazing and impactful organization. However, I strongly believe that Reach Out and Read is well positioned for its next phase of growth and success.”

Gallagher joined Reach Out and Read in 2007 as the organization’s director of national expansion, overseeing a 30% growth of the program’s footprint in three years. In 2009, he became director of national programs, and then acting executive director in January 2014 before being named executive director in 2015.

Although his future plans are not settled, Gallagher said he plans to expand his work as an executive and leadership coach for emerging and new leaders in the nonprofit sector.

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