Dorothy Stoneman is the Founder and CEO of YouthBuild USA, Inc., which is the national support center for over 265 YouthBuild programs in the USA and the sponsor of YouthBuild International. Stoneman is a leader in advocating for youth engagement in civil society. She is chairman of the National YouthBuild Coalition, with nearly 1,000 member organizations in 45 states, Washington D.C., and the Virgin Islands.
After joining the Civil Rights movement in 1964, Stoneman lived and worked for 24 years in Harlem. She was first a public school teacher and then director of a community-based day care center, elementary school, community development housing corporation, community service program, and a youth employment and leadership development program. She began the first YouthBuild program in East Harlem in 1978, and served as its director for ten years. Over time she has built grassroots coalitions that have succeeded in obtaining over one billion dollars of city, state, and federal funds for community-based organizations to implement programs for youth and community development in low-income neighborhoods.
Stoneman was given the Harvard Call to Service award in 2012, awarded the prestigious international Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2007, the John Gardner Annual Leadership Award from the Independent Sector in 2000, and a MacArthur (“genius”) Fellowship in 1996. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and science from Harvard University, a master’s degree in early childhood education and a doctorate of humane letters from Bank Street College of Education.
As a leader committed to building momentum toward the elimination of poverty, Stoneman currently serves as an active member or leader in the Aspen Institute’s Opportunity Youth Network, Voices for National Service, America’s Promise, ServiceNation, America Forward, the National Advisory Board for Public Service at Harvard University, Emerald Cities Collaborative, and the Markle Initiative for America’s Economic Future in a Networked World. She served on the Task Force to End Poverty of the Center for American Progress which issued a set of recommendations in 2007 regarding how to cut poverty in half in ten years.
Stoneman is the author of numerous practical handbooks regarding how to run effective YouthBuild and leadership development programs in low-income communities, and many articles addressing issues of poverty and leadership.
She is married to John Bell, vice president of training and leadership development at YouthBuild USA; they live in Massachusetts and have two children and 13 godchildren.