Robert Chambers Named Associate VP, Community and Government Relations
Berklee College of Music has named Robert Chambers as associate vice president of Community and Government Relations.
In his new role, he will oversee the development and management of institutional relationships, partnerships, and programs with community organizations; city, state, and federal governmental affairs; and efforts that contribute to the cultural, educational, and artistic development of the Boston area.
“I can’t think of anyone else who is so aptly prepared to continue the work that the college has been able to do in the community and neighborhood, and with government relations,” says J. Curtis Warner Jr., who retired from the position last year. “Robert and I have served together on both the Fenway Alliance and the Boston Arts Academy board, where he now serves as vice president. I have every confidence that things in this area of the college will continue to move both onward and upward."
Chambers’s lifelong commitment to the service of others has shaped and guided his career for the past 25 years. Prior to Berklee, he was the legislative director for the state’s House Committee on Ways and Means, where he served as liaison to 200 legislative members and other administration offices. Chambers was a pivotal member of the committee that crafted the state’s $42 billion budget for the 2019 fiscal year.
“It’s unlike any experience I have ever had,” says the former political aide. "Throughout the process we were guided by the chairman’s belief that 'this budget meets people where they’re at in their lives and supports the most vulnerable amongst us.' It was truly an honor to serve the Commonwealth in that capacity."
Chambers's previous positions include his role as chief of staff for the president of Cambridge College, and a two-year stint as vice president and dean of students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SMFA). He also worked at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) for 17 years, where he had the opportunity to work in various positions within Student Affairs before transitioning to the president’s office as the assistant to the president for government and community affairs. During his tenure at MassArt, Chambers, with the leadership of the president, established the office of Government and Community Relations, which he led in its first six years.
Having held key leadership roles in higher education and politics over the years, he was fortunate to have crossed paths with several people who worked at Berklee and spoke highly of the institutional culture.
“Working around students, especially creative students who are so passionate and driven by what they do, I find very energizing. So, that was another factor in my decision to pursue this opportunity,” says Chambers.
Long a proponent of fostering partnerships with community organizations and nonprofits, Chambers has been an active member and held leadership positions in several organizations, including the Boston Arts Academy Board of Trustees, the South Shore YMCA of Massachusetts, Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services Board, and the Fenway Alliance Board.
The Quincy, Massachusetts, resident holds a bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis in psychology and business from Southeast Missouri State University.