Equipped to Lead and Succeed

Charles M. Collins Named Presidential Fellow at the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at the University of San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (March 30, 2023) – The McCarthy Center at the University of San Francisco (USF) has named Charles M. (Chuck) Collins as its first Presidential Fellow. The McCarthy Center is dedicated to inspiring and preparing students at USF to pursue lives and careers of ethical public service. Chuck’s initial focus at the McCarthy Center will be deepening institutional commitment to educational learning outcomes through the systematic application of equitable principles and practices impacting scholars, their families, and communities.

“I am so pleased to have Chuck serve as a Presidential Fellow at USF, where he has taken a special interest in our Equity Interns program, a partnership he helped to form with the Biden Institute of the University of Delaware and the Y of San Francisco,” said USF President Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J. “Chuck perfectly aligns with our Jesuit educational philosophy, and he brings a wealth of experience in the transformative formation of young people to become agents of social justice.”

Collins is currently the president emeritus of and special advisor to the YMCA of San Francisco, where he served for nearly two decades as president and chief executive officer. He is also the special advisor to the secretary general of the World Alliance of YMCAs in Geneva, Switzerland. As Special YMCA Advisor to COP26 (Glasgow, Scotland 2021), Chuck’s extensive knowledge of the global YMCA movement, private and corporate philanthropy and public resource mobilization were utilized to create networks that expand, empower and invest in youth as climate activists and agents of change.

Chuck has practiced law and was a former deputy secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency for the State of California. He also has an extensive city planning background and directed a comprehensive study for the City and County of San Francisco incorporating economic and fiscal considerations, land use planning, transportation systems, and housing requirements resulting in the Downtown Plan for the City.

Chuck serves on the San Francisco Arts Commission, The Community Council of the UCSF Center for Community Engagement, the board of the Commonwealth Club, Chair Emeritus of the ShapeUp SF Coalition, a board member (vice chair) of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and former trustee of Williams College, the San Francisco State University Foundation, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the National Urban League and the Howard Thurman Educational Trust (chair).

Collins was the 2019 recipient of the Silver Spur Award that recognizes outstanding individuals whose achievements exemplify the highest aspirations of the San Francisco Bay Area. Chuck received his Bachelor of Arts with honors from Williams College with a double major in History and the History of Art; Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Juris Doctor from the Harvard Law School. The University of San Francisco awarded Chuck an honorary doctorate degree when he gave a commencement address in 2018.

The Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good provides a forum for education, service and research in public policy-making and programs for the common good, supporting undergraduate and graduate academic programs, service learning, and government experiences for students.

About the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at USF

The Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good is dedicated to inspiring and equipping students at USF to pursue lives and careers of ethical public service, and the service to others. The center provides a non-partisan forum for education, service and research in public programs and policy-making. It supports undergraduate programs, including an undergraduate minor in public service. Additionally, the McCarthy Center provides community-based learning opportunities and facilitates government experiences for students. Engage San Francisco is a transformative university-community partnership that achieves community-identified outcomes supporting children, youth and families in The Fillmore/Western Addition neighborhood through student learning, research and teaching aligned with USF’s mission and vision. This university-wide initiative supports neighbors living below San Francisco’s poverty level to achieve their full potential in education, health, and career development, and housing. For more information, visit https://www.usfca.edu/mccarthy

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is a private, Jesuit Catholic university that reflects the diversity, optimism, and opportunities of the city that surrounds it. USF offers more than 230 undergraduate, graduate, professional, and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, law, education, and nursing and health professions. At USF, each course is an intimate learning community in which top professors encourage students to turn learning into positive action, so the students graduate equipped to do well in the world — and inspired to change it for the better. For more information, visit usfca.edu.