Boston Opportunity Agenda welcomes Ayesha Cammaerts as new Executive Director

July 14, 2023

Boston – The Boston Opportunity Agenda announced today that Ayesha Cammaerts, Senior Manager of Community Programs and Early Childhood Lead at Boston Children’s Hospital, has been selected as the next Executive Director of the partnership.

In her role at Boston Children’s, Cammaerts was responsible for oversight of the Birth-to-Five Child Health and Development Initiative—a 10-year, $17 million initiative seeking public/private systems-level change in early childhood health. As part of this work, she has supported individual and collective impact at 15 sites implementing projects ranging from grassroots programming for families to systems-level initiatives operating at scale. Prior to her service at Boston Children’s Hospital, she held positions at Partners in Health and in state government, including as Chief of Staff of the Massachusetts Office of Medicaid (MassHealth).

She also served on the leadership team for the Birth to Eight Collaborative, which is convened by the Boston Opportunity Agenda to focus on strategies that ensure all young children are ready for sustained success in kindergarten and beyond.

“After a thorough and rigorous search, we are delighted to welcome Ayesha to take the reins of the Boston Opportunity Agenda,” said M. Lee Pelton, Chair of the Boston Opportunity Agenda Board. “With her deep commitment to young people and her expertise in cross-sector partnerships, she is a perfect leader at a moment when collaboration across education, health, and community development is vital for creating more equitable opportunities.”

Dr. Pelton also thanked Elizabeth Walczak, who served as interim Executive Director during the search.

The Boston Opportunity Agenda team also includes Fernanda Campbell as Assistant Director of Research, and Pratima Patil as Assistant Director of Programs and Policy. In May, Campbell and Patil co-authored (Re)Building Boston’s Early Education and Care Sector: Supply, Affordability and Quality Needed, the latest update to the Opportunity Agenda’s ongoing research in the early education sector, along with Paula Gaviria Villarreal of the City of Boston’s Office of Early Childhood.

Cammaerts is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz and earned an MBA from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

She will begin her duties at the Boston Opportunity Agenda in mid-August, but will make her first appearance as the incoming Executive Director when the New England Revolution honor the Boston Opportunity Agenda as their “Hero of the Match,” in an on-field ceremony shortly before kickoff of their game against D.C. United on Saturday, July 15th at Gillette Stadium. The program honors local first responders, members of the armed forces and others making a difference in the community.

The Boston Opportunity Agenda logo. Over a sky-blue background: On the left, a black and white photo of the side of a child's face, who is looking up. To the right of that is large yellow text that says "The Boston Opportunity Agenda". To the lower right of that is smaller white text that says "A Historic Education Partnership".
Ayesha Cammaerts
Ayesha Cammaerts