President and CEO
Leverett has led the Commonwealth Seminar since 2015, after being one of its founding board members in 2003. Leverett is a well-known leader and community mobilizer whose ability to communicate to broad, diverse audiences, think innovatively, organize on a wide scale, and break down barriers across communities, has led to a number of landmark accomplishments benefiting organizations & causes locally and nationally.
Before joining the Commonwealth Seminar, Leverett led the Community Services Division, at The Massachusetts' Department of Housing & Community Development. In that position, he oversaw a budget of over $250 million and staff of over 50 employees while working with cities, towns and non-profit organizations to offer programs, funding, and technical assistance to support the advancement towards self-sufficiency of households, and the revitalization of cities and towns throughout MA.
Leverett was also the Executive Director of the Washington D.C. headquartered Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), the only non-partisan, national organization focusing on civic engagement in the Asian American community. Prior to that, Leverett helped envision and spearhead an effort to create the Massachusetts Asian American Commission, a permanent entity in State government to represent Asian American interests in MA. Having been instrumental in its creation, Leverett was named the Commission's first permanent Executive Director.
Over the past three decades, Leverett has consistently conceived, promoted and led innovative programs and initiatives, bringing the unique needs of various communities to the fore.
As a member of the Board of Overseers at Joslin Diabetes Center, an internationally known hospital and research center, Leverett helped found a first-of-its-kind, national project called the Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI) which seeks to improve the understanding and treatment of diabetes among Asian Americans. Leverett also founded and co-chaired the AADI's signature fundraising event "A Taste of Ginger" for its first five years, returning in 2019 to co-chair its Fifteenth Anniversary celebration.
Leverett also recently joined the Board of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston where he Co-Chairs its Diversity Outreach Committee as it seeks to diversify its board and community outreach and inclusion efforts.
Leverett also founded the annual Asian American Community Harbor Cruise , as a member of Boston Harbor Now's (BHN) Board of Advisors, as a vehicle for the AAPI community to learn more about, better access, and gain a greater appreciation for the Boston Harbor, its surrounding islands and the environment in general. Donated by BHN and led & organized by Leverett, the cruise annually draws upwards of 1,000 attendees with free tickets "selling out" in less than 10 minutes (BHN video featuring Leverett HERE).
Leverett also sits on the Board of Overseers of the nationally renowned Boston Children's Museum as well as the Board of Advisors for GBH-TV/Radio, Boston’s nationally known Public Broadcasting affiliate where he founded the station's annual Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration in 2006 - now an annual event drawing over 300 attendees each year (video - Leverett at 59:00 mark).
In addition, Leverett sits on the Board of Trustees at Eastern Bank, the largest and oldest mutual bank in the United States, on which Leverett sits on the Bank's Nominating Committee to help diversify its board leadership.
He also serves on the Board of Directors of Boston’s Higher Ground in Roxbury, MA which aims to better direct resources and services - including childcare, social services, and youth leadership development - to some of Boston’s most challenged neighborhoods.
Most recently, Leverett spearheaded the creation of "Community Crossovers" partnering the Commonwealth Seminar with Boston's Higher Ground and NAACP's Boston Chapter. The Crossovers are series of cross-BIPOC community dialogues seeking to harness and build on the cross-community support witnessed during the Black Lives Matter movement to explore how to leverage interest in addressing systemic racism and build on the movement’s momentum to create lasting relationships and alliances. While addressing specific topics, Crossover attendees learn about the history and background of these issues, the strategies used to address these issues, and explore potential collaborative opportunities among each community's residents & constituencies.
Leverett has also been the featured speaker in a number of "Fireside Chats" with the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion divisions of a number of prominent companies, including Keolis, Vertex, Cambridge Savings Bank, and Boston Medical Center. During these chats, Leverett offers insights into the history of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in the United States, some of the barriers faced by the community, and potential collaborative solutions and initiatives which attendees might undertake to understand, support and partner with one another.
In 2016, Leverett was recognized by Get Konnected as one of their "GK 100: Honoring the One Hundred of the Most Influential People of Color". He was also a recent recipient of the prestigious "Good Guy Award" (video) from the MA Women's Political Caucus, only the second Asian American to ever receive the award.
Leverett was also honored by the Asian Community Development Corporation which offered its "Inspiration Award" to him for his work empowering & educating the community regarding political engagement. Color Magazine also presented Leverett with its “Publisher’s Award” for his work breaking down barriers and building collaborative efforts within communities of color in Massachusetts.
Leverett has been featured in numerous local and national publications, been heard on National Public Radio's “All Things Considered” and featured in the Boston Business Journal (read feature). He's appeared on multiple occasions on Boston’s NBC, PBS (video) and ABC network (video) affiliates, and has seen his Op-Ed columns published in the Boston Business Journal (read) and the Boston Globe (read his April 2021, November 2021 and March 2022 Globe pieces).
A graduate of Tufts University (B.A.), Leverett is also an alumnus of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government (MPA-2). A longtime Boston Celtics season ticket holder, Leverett enjoys watching, and partaking in, any sporting activity he can, as well as visiting and exploring America's National Parks around the country. He lives in Boston with his family.