Michael Brown (City Year)
Michael Brown, born December 28, 1960, is co-founder and CEO of City Year, an education-focused, nonprofit organization. In partnership with public schools, City Year deploys teams of City Year AmeriCorps members to schools to help keep off-track students in school and on track to graduation.
Education and early career
Brown is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School, where he served as editor of the Harvard Law Review. Prior to founding City Year, he served as a legislative assistant to then Congressman Leon Panetta and as a clerk for then Federal Judge Stephen Breyer.
City Year fights the national dropout crisis. City Year uses the energy of its young adults, called corps members, to serve as tutors, mentors and role models in schools to help students stay on track to graduate.
In 2009, Brown announced "In School & On Track:A National Challenge," City Year's national initiative designed to bring City Year corps members to 50% of all of the students falling off track in City Year’s 21 U.S. locations. This required the expansion of corps members to 6,000 and engaging school districts, the private sector and the federal government through AmeriCorps as partners.
Since City Year's founding, 15,100 corps members have completed 26 million hours of service.
National Service Leadership
Inspired by a visit with City Year during his 1992 run for presidency, President Bill Clinton enlisted the help of Brown, Khazei and others to establish AmeriCorps through the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. Since then, more than 575,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed upwards of 700 million hours of public service. City Year, along with thousands of other non-profit organizations, is a member of the AmeriCorps network.
In June 2003, AmeriCorps funding was cut by 80 percent. Brown and other service leaders organized the "Save AmeriCorps" act, a campaign culminating in a 100 hour hearing in the Capitol. At this hearing, more than 700 AmeriCorps supporters testified. The campaign led to half of the AmeriCorps funding being restored in 2003 and to all of the previous funding plus a $100 million increase appropriated for 2004. As a result of the increased funding, the AmeriCorps program was able to engage 25,000 more corps members in service.
Awards and Recognitions
Brown was named one of America's Best Leaders by the U.S. News & World Report and an Executive of the Year by NonProfit Times for his leadership role in ServiceNation and the passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.
For his work developing City Year, Brown has been awarded the Reebok Human Rights Award, the National Caring Award, the Samuel S. Beard Jefferson Award of the American Institute for Public Service, the Boston Bar Association's Public Service Award, the Harvard Law School Association Award, and four honorary degrees, including a Doctorate of Public Service from Northeastern University.
Michael Brown lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his family.