Richard Berlin, founding chair of DREAM Charter School, has served as DREAM’s Executive Director since
1997. Mr. Berlin began his connection with DREAM as a volunteer baseball coach in 1994. During his tenure,
DREAM has grown from a summer recreation program with one staff member to a thriving community-based
organization recognized locally and nationally with numerous awards for programmatic and operational
excellence, including multi-year recognition as The Nonprofit Times’ Best Nonprofit to Work For, multiple
Nonprofit New York Nonprofit Excellence Awards, The New York City Excellence in School Wellness Award,
and the Mutual of America National Community Partnerships Award.
DREAM serves 2,500 youth from pre-k to pre-college across East Harlem and the South Bronx through a
growing network of inclusive, extended-day, extended-year charter schools and community sports-based youth
development programs. This includes DREAM’s Legends programming, which provides postsecondary
resources for alumni in the form of college transition support, career exposure, and more. By developing an
education model that is responsive to the unique academic and social needs of every family, DREAM is
creating a future where all children are equipped to fulfill their vision of success. DREAM now has nearly 250
full-time staff members and an annual operating budget of $40 million.
Mr. Berlin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and
attended a Master’s Program in Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science in
London, England. Additionally, he has completed certificate programs at Columbia University’s Institute for
Not-for-Profit Management in both Nonprofit Management and Leadership Development.
Mr. Berlin, who frequently speaks on topics related to nonprofit management, governance, and sustainability,
has served as an adjunct faculty member at The New School University’s Robert J. Milano Graduate School of
Management and Policy. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Summer Learning
Association. He has previously served on the Board of Directors of Up2Us Sports and the Partnership for After
School Education (PASE). Mr. Berlin has also been a Leadership Fellow at the Citizens’ Committee for the
Children of New York City and a Greater NY Class of 2020 Fellow.
Mr. Berlin lives in Harlem with his wife, Kara, and two children, Logan and Sylvie.