Selvin Chambers named BUILD Boston’s new Regional Executive Director

BUILD Boston announced that after an extensive search it has named Selvin Chambers III as its Regional Executive Director. Chambers fills the role vacated by founding Regional Executive Director, Ayele Shakur, who was recently named BUILD’s CEO, replacing founder Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, who retired this year after 20 years of leadership.

“I am thrilled to have Selvin lead the Boston team,” Shakur said. “He brings such a wealth of knowledge in youth development and nonprofit management, as well as deep connections in the Boston and Cambridge communities. He will bring a fresh perspective and new energy to the Greater Boston region as we chart an exciting path for expansion across the state.”

Chambers brings more than 20 years of experience in non-profit and local government work, and extensive business development experience in the non-profit sector. He has a passion for engaging local communities and building and supporting community-based programs and collaborations serving a broad spectrum of youth and young adults.

“BUILD has a great reputation for cultivating a positive, supportive, social and entrepreneurial growth opportunity for high school age youth,” Chambers said. “As the new Regional Executive Director, I look forward to supporting the organizational goals for developing young people. BUILD provides its students the opportunity to be creative in a trusting and supportive environment. That is why I’m honored to serve as its new Executive Director”.

Chambers most recently served as the Executive Director of the Margaret Fuller House, a non-profit founded in 1902 which provides social services to youth and adults. Chambers has also previously served as the Founding Executive Director of Root NS Inc., and as interim Chief Operating Officer for the United South End Settlements. Prior executive and managerial positions include serving as Metro Boston Regional Director for the Trustees of Reservations, Executive Director of the Food Project, and Executive Director of the Elizabeth Peabody House in Somerville. He has also worked at Boston Centers for Youth & Families as the Director of Youth Development and Family Services and the City of Cambridge Department of Human Services as the Division Head for Cambridge Youth Programs, as well as City Year in several cities throughout the US.

Chambers is a senior fellow for the Institute for Nonprofit Practice at Tisch College, providing training in nonprofit leadership. A graduate of Fitchburg State University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Chambers also holds a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Boston University School of Management and a Certificate in Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management from Harvard Business School.


BUILD uses entrepreneurship and experiential learning to ignite the potential of youth in under-resourced communities and equip them for high school, college and career success. Through its four-year program, BUILD serves more than 1,500 students in five cities, including 350 students at seven Boston high schools. In BUILD’s 20-year history working in high poverty, high needs schools, more than 97% of students completing the program have graduated high school on time and 95% have been accepted to college. Learn more at

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