ABCD About


John J Drew, President/CEO

ABCD's President/CEO has been a national figure in the Community Action movement for over 30 years. His leadership in the field has been informed both by his personal experience and his professional training.

Drew was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and his early years were marked by the challenges of growing up in a hard-working community in which opportunities for education and career advancement were few. As a resident of public housing and the son of a Head Start parent, he saw the beginnings of the anti-poverty movement of the nineteen sixties. An academic late bloomer, he studied at Bentley College in his mid-30s, and went on to complete his MBA at Suffolk University. After being licensed as a Certified Public Accountant, Drew first worked with ABCD as an auditor.

Drew joined ABCD as Budget Director, subsequently served as Deputy Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and is now the agency's President/CEO. During his tenure, ABCD's budget has grown to over 100 million dollars, with services reaching out to more than 100,000 disadvantaged individuals each year.

In addition to helping guide the growth of ABCD, Drew rapidly emerged as a leader in the wider nonprofit arena. He is the founder and former President of the National Association for Administrative Excellence, an association that helped make significant advances in the business management of nonprofit agencies. He is a sought-after trainer and consultant, who lectures frequently to national audiences in the Community Action Network.

As an adjunct professor at local colleges and universities including the Urban College program, Drew shares his combination of practical expertise and academic learning with students in public management programs. Drew has continued to support the principle of wider access to higher education, helping to nurture the Urban College Program at ABCD and serving as a Trustee of the Urban College of Boston since 1998.