Dorothy Stoneman, Founder and CEO

Honors and Awards

Dorothy Stoneman is a leader in advocating for youth engagement in civil society. In addition to serving as Founder and Chief Executive Officer for YouthBuild USA, 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, NY. 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 Stoneman 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. As a leader committed to building momentum toward the elimination of poverty, Stoneman currently serves 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.

In 2013, Stoneman spoke at the national Action to Realize the Dream March on the Mall in Washington, D.C. The event, with tens of thousands in attendance marked the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Stoneman 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. 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.