Emily Haber is the CEO of the Massachusetts Service Alliance, a private, nonprofit organization that serves as the state commission on community service and volunteerism. MSA invests public and private funds in community-based organizations and builds capacity of volunteer programs and nonprofit agencies across the Commonwealth.
Before joining MSA in March 2008, Emily served as program director of Boston Main Streets, a public-private initiative of the City of Boston established to revitalize Boston’s many neighborhood commercial districts. Ms. Haber is on the board of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and the Association of America’s State Service Commissions. Ms. Haber holds a B.A. from Vassar College and a Masters in City Planning from M.I.T.
What has been your best moment so far serving with your state commission? My first AmeriCorps Opening Day in Nov. 2008. This was the first time I got to feel the passion of over 1,000 AmeriCorps members in one place. The 20th Anniversary Celebration on Sept. 12, was pretty great also!
What advice do you have for others at commissions? Or what is the best advice you’ve received? You need to brace yourself for a roller coaster when it comes to public funding for what we do. However, it is important to stay proactive rather than reactive in this funding climate since that is the only way to stay positive and be productive and successful.
What keeps you motivated? The needs that are being met in our state by enthusiastic, idealist corps members and volunteers.
In one word what would you describe as your greatest strength? Collaborative
How do you prepare yourself when you know something is going to be controversial or challenging? I talk with my senior team. I find I work best by collaborating with the people around me who have a vested interest in our success.