Steven Rothstein

New chief named for JFK Library foundation

The search for a new chief of the foundation that oversees the John F. Kennedy Library has settled on a longtime family ally with an extensive non-profit background, officials said Tuesday, capping a long period of turbulence at the iconic Dorchester institution.

Steven Rothstein, who has led Citizen Schools and the Perkins School for the Blind, will be announced Tuesday as the new executive director of the non-profit entity that supports the museum, officials said. A formal proclamation is expected later in the day.

Rothstein will succeed Heather Campion, who resigned in December as the foundation’s leader after a foundation board review of her stormy tenure, which was marked by heavy staff departures and complaints about her leadership style.

The foundation bankrolls much of the library’s operations and works in harness with federal archives employees. Collaboration between the two entities had deteriorated during Campion’s tenure, with the library’s longtime director, Thomas J. Putnam, resigning last September. Putnam’s exit followed a spate of departures that had begun with Campion’s appointment.

Defenders of Campion said she was implementing a challenging agenda of change and modernization with which she had been charged by the foundation board, which is stocked with longtime Kennedy family friends and allies.

At least 15 people, more than a third of the employees whose positions were funded by the foundation, either resigned or were terminated during Campion’s tenure.

Foundation board chair Kenneth J. Feinberg planned to inform board members of the choice on Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Rothstein, who lives in Somerville, was president of the Perkins School from 2003 until 2014 and then worked as CEO of Citizen Schools, a non-profit focused on extending school hours. He is close to former congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and helped found the Citizens Energy Corp., working as its general manager.

He worked as assistant commissioner of what was then known as the state Department of Mental Retardation, then founded a consulting firm focused on environmentally friendly products.

Rothstein is expected to wear the title of executive director, a step down from the CEO moniker that Campion had, officials said. That designation will bring the Kennedy Library Foundation more closely in line with libraries like those named for presidents Lyndon Baines Johnson, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton, officials said.

A capital victory

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Guest Post by CEO Steven Rothstein

I wish you could have been with me last week in our nation’s capital. I am so inspired by so many of the students, principals, corporate partners, and others who joined us there.

On Monday, we had a special briefing on key education and STEM issues at the White House. On Tuesday, we organized, with the partnership of many other groups and organizations, the first-ever Expanded Learning Summit: Meeting In The Middle. Many joined in person and hundreds more participated in the conversation via live stream or social media. Then on Wednesday, we continued the advocacy and momentum and brought students, educators, corporate partners and our team to Capitol Hill for meetings with 36 Democratic and Republican members in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on key education issues.

The summit was the first time a group of this scale – including more than 55 distinguished speakers and panelists – has convened to discuss how expanded learning can help close the opportunity gap for our nation’s young people. We had a range of thought leaders and policy makers participate, including our chairman, Dr. Larry Summers; the Mayor of Washington D.C.; Wendy Spencer; the Deputy Mayor of New York; a representative from the George Bush Center, and literally dozens of the “best and the brightest” in our field.

We were honored to receive a special message from President Obama himself. “Events like this summit,” he wrote, “bring together those of us working on the front lines to make better use of educational time… If our next generation is going to meet the challenges of this century, they will need more time in the classroom.”

We are deeply grateful to all of those who participated in the summit, and to the many supporters and convenors who made this event possible. They are all highlighted on our event website. We are committed to the thousands of children whom we serve, and to growing the field of expanded learning. We believe that last week’s activities were critical in advancing this agenda.

As we recognize our 20 years of service, the Expanded Learning Summit highlights how much more there is to do in our next phase. In the coming days, we’ll continue to share opportunities to engage with these important ideas, including archived video from all summit sessions.

Yours in service,


CEO, Citizen Schools

P.S. We welcome your support to help more students across the country build the skills, access, and beliefs required for them to thrive as students and succeed as adults.


It's Time: Celebrating 20 Years of Citizen Schools

Guest Post from CEO Steven Rothstein

Over the past six months, as I have traveled the country and spoken to students, parents, AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows, principals, Citizen Teachers, and supporters, I have heard many stories about your experiences with Citizen Schools. There are many stories about moments in time when a call to action was made, and answered, with tremendous results.

I heard about Eric Schwarz and Ned Rimer who stood up 20 years ago and said: It’s Time to change the way people relate to our schools, and prove that everyone can help to close the opportunity gap for students. That call was the spark that led over 100,000 citizens to impact the lives of over 40,000 students.

I heard about the time, ten years later, when we decided: It’s Time to spread this idea to communities across the country. You answered the call and helped bring Citizen Schools to places like California, North Carolina, Texas, and New York.

I heard about the moment five years ago when we decided: It’s Time to prove that we can help close the opportunity gap for every student at the schools we serve. From that our Expanded Learning Time program was born, and together we proved that more learning time combined with more involved citizens can generate a powerful impact.

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This year, as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary, it is my humble belief that we have arrived at another of these moments in time. I believe that because of the passion and commitment I have heard from you. I believe that because I have seen what you have already accomplished. I hope you join me in saying once again: It’s Time. It’s time for Citizen Schools to reach hundreds of thousands of students with our program and our ideas. This will be the challenge of our next 5, 10, and 20 years. I hope you join us in meeting it. If the past is any guide, I’m sure that you will.

In Service,




PRESS RELEASE: Lawrence H. Summers Announces Steven Rothstein as CEO of Citizen Schools

CONTACT:  Holly Trippett, Citizen Schools, 301-452-3904, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


May 22, 2014 – Boston, Mass. – Citizen Schools’ national Board Chair Lawrence H. Summers announced that the board has unanimously selected Steven Maze Rothstein as the organization's next Chief Executive Officer. Rothstein will join Citizen Schools August 1, 2014 as CEO-elect and will assume the CEO role on September 1, 2014. He will succeed Co-Founder and CEO Eric Schwarz, who led the organization for nearly 20 years. “At a time of growing inequality of opportunity, Citizen Schools has proven that expanded learning time significantly boosts academic proficiency,” said Summers. “Steven Rothstein is uniquely suited to continue the great work of Eric Schwarz. The board, the staff, and I are excited to work with Steven as we provide opportunities for academic success to all students.” Rothstein recently stepped down as President of The Perkins School for the Blind, where he served as President for 11 years. At Perkins, the nation’s first school for the blind, which counts Helen Keller among its alums, Rothstein grew in-person and online educational services from 40,000 to 850,000 students, parents, and teachers; completed a $136 million capital campaign, the largest in the school’s history; and grew annual operating revenue from $40 million to $72 million. Rothstein previously served as Co-Founder and General Manager of Citizens Energy Corporation, the world’s first nonprofit social mission oil company, increasing gross annual sales for Citizens and related companies to more than $2 billion. Citizens, which was Co-Founded and is now led by former Congressman Joe Kennedy, has provided free home heating oil to an estimated half a million elderly individuals and low-income families. Rothstein also served as Assistant Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation from 1987 to 1990. The national board's appointment of Rothstein came at the unanimous recommendation of an eight member search committee chaired by Sherif Nada, a former Citizen Schools board chair, and including five board members, a major funder, and two members of the national staff. Search firm Isaacson Miller supported the search. “I am honored and humbled to join the Citizen Schools team,” said Rothstein. “The opportunity to work with smart people, volunteers, donors, supporters, and public officials to positively impact urban education is incredibly exhilarating. I am excited to continue the momentum that Eric and the team have built to impact thousands of students nationwide.” “Steven Rothstein is a innovative, experienced, and compassionate leader,” said Schwarz. “I look forward to supporting him and our excellent team during this transition. Citizen Schools has invented a new approach to education -- an approach that offers low-income children the extra academic practice, mentoring support, hands-on projects, and strong social networks needed to fully close opportunity and achievement gaps. Our results are strong, but now the challenge is scale. We need to make Citizen Schools the new normal in urban education.” Founded in Boston in 1995, Citizen Schools partners with underserved public middle schools across 14 school districts in seven states to dramatically expand the learning day by 400 hours each academic year. The organization mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” who provide academic coaching and skill-building apprenticeships. Rigorous external evaluations indicate that Citizen Schools’ Expanded Learning Time (ELT) initiative significantly boosts academic proficiency, helps schools provide a well-rounded education, and more than doubles interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through apprenticeships like robotics and video game design. A study of Citizen Schools students in Boston, MA and Charlotte, NC indicated that Citizen Schools helps students fully close high school completion and college access gaps with their middle income peers while also narrowing the college completion gap. Citizen Schools addresses a growing opportunity gap that is fueling growing inequality between lower and higher-income children in everything from test score proficiency to college graduation rates to lifelong earnings. A study by The Afterschool Corporation found that by the time children from low-income households reach 6th grade, their middle and upper-income peers spend 6,000 more hours engaged in formal and informal learning. Another study by educational economist Richard Murnane indicated that upper-income families have tripled their investment in their children’s education in a generation, while lower-income children have counted on resources from public schools. About Citizen Schools Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support, in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. In the 2013-2014 academic year, the nonprofit served over 4,900 students and engaged 240 AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows and over 5,000 volunteer teachers. For more information, please visit