Buffalo Urban League Names Thomas Beauford, Jr. New President/CEO

The Buffalo Urban League Board of Directors has  announced its new President and Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Beauford, Jr.  

Beauford won unanimous backing from the League’s board following a nationwide search that began in March. He begins his new position on August 31 as the sixth leader of the racial justice and social service organization since its local founding in 1927. He succeeds Brenda McDuffie, who is retiring later this year after 21 years as president/CEO.

Beauford brings more than 20 years of strategic and operations management experience, primarily in the financial services industry, most recently with M&T Bank, where he was a vice president in the Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs division. Beauford graduated from St. Peter’s University with a B.S. in business management, and holds MBA and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

  “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am excited for the opportunity to welcome Thomas Beauford as the new President and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League,” said Steve Finch, Board Chair and Co-Chair of the Search Committee. “We are looking forward to his leadership in the coming years, and are excited to see what the future holds for the work of the League under his direction.”

Beauford, who has been with M&T since 2014, spent a year prior at Citibank, and 13 years with HSBC in Malaysia, India and Buffalo. Beauford, 57, holds a certificate in governance from the Harvard Business School Executive Education program.  

“Thomas Beauford brings significant experience and deep appreciation for the critically important work of the Buffalo Urban League,” said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President/CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and Co-Chair of the Search Committee. “He is a welcomed addition to the leadership of our non-profit sector.”

A Six Sigma Black Belt, Beauford is on the Board of Directors of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens; was treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Community Health Center of Buffalo from 2009-2012; is past board chair of the International Institute of Buffalo; is immediate past president of the Buffalo Chapter of the National Black MBA Association; was on the board of the Buffalo Urban Development Corp, for six years until 2018; and was an adjunct professor at Medaille College teaching global business from 2011-2018.

“I am truly honored to be following in the footsteps of Brenda McDuffie and the other giants of the Buffalo Urban League,” Beauford said. “This is a unique opportunity that comes at a crucial time for the League, our city, the Buffalo-Niagara region, and our country. I pledged to the Board and all League members that I will work tirelessly to fulfill the League’s mission.”