Portrait of Shawn Best

Shawn Best

University Director of the Black Male Initiative, City University of New York (CUNY BMI)

In his previous role, Best served as the second University Associate Director for CUNY BMI from September 2014 until April 2018, and as a Project Coordinator for the Black Male Initiative at Hunter College from January 2012 until September 2014. As the Associate Director, he co-developed and implemented the site visit structure, a re-branding overhaul and a best practices model for 31 CUNY BMI projects serving over 4,000 students CUNY-wide. He also managed and provided technical assistance to approximately 100 administrators/faculty members throughout the CUNY system who run BMI projects. He comes to the Central Office with over 20 years of experience working in Residence Life, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Athletics, and Admissions.

Best received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont in May 2000. He received his Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from New York University in May 2004. Best’s passions lie in helping college students experience holistic success and receive mentorship. In particular, Best’s journey to his current career was paved with mentorship from some of the top African American male college administrators in the country including Douglas Samuels and Allen McFarlane. At New York University, Best worked with Allen McFarlane to co-found “Brothers for Success,” a student affairs support program for primarily Black male students, that was funded by the New York Times. Best is near completion of his doctoral degree in Organization Leadership at Northeastern University with plans to graduate in 2020.