Kristin McSwain to leave Opportunity Agenda to lead new city Office of Early Childhood

March 23, 2022

The Boston Opportunity Agenda (BOA) today announced that its founding Executive Director, Kristin McSwain, will be stepping down to serve in the administration of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu as Senior Advisor and Director of the newly announced Office of Early Childhood. Boston Foundation Director of Education to Career Antoniya Marinova will serve as Interim Director while the BOA Board conducts a search for a new Executive Director.    

Kristin McSwain

“Kristin has been a transformational leader for our city since the inception of the Boston Opportunity Agenda twelve years ago,” said Lee Pelton, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation and Chair of the Boston Opportunity Agenda. “She has set the table for important partnerships between philanthropy, higher education, and the public and private sectors. Her insight and leadership in the creation of the Birth to Eight Collaborative both anticipated and amplified the importance of investing in early childhood and makes her the perfect leader to execute on Mayor Wu’s vision.” 

McSwain joined the BOA after serving as Chief of Program Operations—and a member of the leadership team—for the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, the federal agency that oversees the national programs of AmeriCorps. Earlier in her career, McSwain served as Director of AmeriCorps State and National, and as CEO of the Massachusetts Service Alliance. Over the past decade, BOA has focused on removing the systemic barriers that create unacceptable outcomes and a lack of opportunity for historically oppressed and economically disadvantaged populations to create a just, equitable education system. Through thoughtful grantmaking and the publication of an annual report card that tracks the progress in Boston’s district, charter, and parochial schools, the BOA brought together community voices and resources in a strategic and coordinated fashion.    

“Kristin has taken an innovative idea, the first time in the country that funders have come together to make significant investments in a shared set of educational initiatives and built it into a crucial partnership that continues to work to increase the pace and scale of education for all children in Boston,” said Bob Giannino, Boston Opportunity Agenda Vice Chair and Ansin President and CEO of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “I want to thank her for her leadership and look forward to working with Antoniya as we continue the work ahead.” 

Antoniya Marinova
Antoniya Marinova

The BOA Board, which includes leaders of Boston’s philanthropic, educational, business, and governmental institutions, will immediately begin a search process for an Executive Director. In the interim, Board members are delighted that Antoniya Marinova will lead the work. Marinova, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Harvard’s Kennedy School, joined the Boston Foundation in 2016. Previously, she worked as a researcher and policy analyst for the Federal Reserve, Mathematica, and Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research. 

“City Hall can do so much more to set up our youngest children for a lifetime of success, and I’m thrilled that Kristin will bring her deep knowledge, leadership, and passion for building the early childhood ecosystem into this role,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Working together with coalition partners, we will accelerate creating high-quality childcare and pre-K seats for Boston families, support the early education and care workforce, and make the most important investments in the next generation of our City.”