Our New Director of AmeriCorps

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Dear Colleagues, 

We are very pleased to announce that the White House has appointed Chester Spellman as our new Director of AmeriCorps. 

Many of you know Chester from his role as CEO of Volunteer Florida, where he has served for the past five years since his appointment by Governor Rick Scott. At CNCS, Chester will lead AmeriCorps State and National and its network of Governor-appointed State Service Commissions and grantee organizations. AmeriCorps, including AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA, engages 80,000 AmeriCorps members annually across the nation to solve local problems, expand economic opportunity, strengthen the nonprofit sector, and provide workforce skills and educational opportunities for those who serve.

Chester Spellman

“I believe there is no greater calling than the calling to serve. I am deeply honored to be appointed by the White House and thrilled for the opportunity to lead AmeriCorps at the national level. National and community service changes lives every day, and I look forward to working with the team at the Corporation for National and Community Service to strengthen communities across the U.S.,” Chester said. 

Chester brings extensive experience, knowledge, and leadership in the national service and nonprofit sectors. At Volunteer Florida, Chester has overseen more than $32 million in annual federal, state, and local funds supporting AmeriCorps and volunteer programs to meet critical needs in Florida’s communities. He also has led the statewide coordination of volunteers and donations before, during, and after disasters in partnership with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and served as Executive Director of the Volunteer Florida Foundation, a nonprofit charity that serves as a direct support organization to Volunteer Florida.

Chester has more than 15 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector, including serving at several faith-based organizations. Prior to joining Volunteer Florida, Spellman worked for Governor Rick Scott as Director of Appointments in the Executive Office of the Governor.

Chester serves in a number of volunteer leadership roles, including as the national Chair of the American Association of State Service Commissions (ASC); as immediate past Chair for Connect Florida, a program of Leadership Florida; as a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program; and on the Tallahassee Board of Advisors for the James Madison Institute. He is a member of the American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network and serves as a mentor in Tallahassee with Take Stock in Children. He is the founder and previously served as Dean of the Awesome Foundation in Tallahassee. In 2016, Chester was honored by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida with its Young Floridian Award.

Chester will be moving to the Washington D.C. area with his wife and three children and will start at CNCS on August 28. As Chester assumes his new role, I’d like to thank Jennifer Bastress Tahmasebi for her excellent leadership of AmeriCorps State and National over the past seven months and for continuing to serve as Deputy Director.

We look forward to working with Chester as he takes on this key position at CNCS later this month.

Warmest Regards,

Kim Mansaray
Acting Chief Executive Officer
Corporation for National and Community Service