Freedom House Appoints Charmaine Arthur as CEO
April 4, 2022 — Freedom House, an anti-poverty, youth development nonprofit based in the Grove Hall neighborhood of Boston, on Friday announced that Charmaine L. Arthur has been named chief executive officer.
Arthur, who joined Freedom House in 2009 and most recently served as chief programs officer, succeeds Katrina Shaw, who stepped down after leading the organization for nearly 10 years to take a leadership role at the Liberty Mutual Foundation.
Board Chair Andrew Sobers said, “We have the utmost confidence in her experience and capability to lead the organization into its next chapter. We are deeply grateful for the transformational leadership Katrina Shaw brought to the organization and wish her much success.”
In her most recent role, Arthur has overseen the delivery of all programming, playing a defining role in developing and executing the organization's strategy to address the crucial need for career readiness, mental wellness services, and youth employment opportunities.
"Oftentimes in leadership, the culture of an organization is underestimated, but it is a key ingredient to the growth and success of any organization," reflected Shaw. "I'm thrilled that the board has selected a leader who is deeply committed to the culture and continued success of Freedom House and its students."
Since joining Freedom House, Arthur has worked closely with the public school system and policy advocates to draft legislation to support drop-out prevention and recovery, and implement system-level change that seeks to impact a generation of disconnected youth.
Earlier, she served as deputy director of Urban Dreams and senior director of programs at YMCA of Greater Boston.
Arthur holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology from Lasell University and is an alumna of Boston University's Institute for Non-Profit Management and Leadership at Questrom School of Business.
Arthur noted that Freedom House during the last 12 months responded to changing community needs, a public health crisis, and the turbulence of a national racial reckoning by shifting to hybrid in-person/virtual programming, doubling the size of the student cohort for its Summer Learning Institute program, and expanding its high school partnership network.
“The world around us demanded that we tackle these challenges with a different approach," she said.
Founded in 1949, Freedom House has served as a hub for Boston’s diverse urban community and a catalyst for promoting equality and civil rights by pioneering anti-poverty youth development and college completion strategies for low income and minority students.