In Honor of Linda Brown, Founder of BES

BES is saddened to hear of the passing of its founder Linda Brown, whose commitment to education laid the groundwork for transforming the lives of tens of thousands of students across the country. We are grateful for her contributions not only to our organization, but also to the public charter school movement as a whole. On behalf of our board and team, we extend our deepest sympathies to Linda’s surviving loved ones, friends and colleagues and to the leaders she has supported. We will honor her and celebrate her life by continuing the work she began with us at BES to ensure that all students have access to an equitable and excellent education. 

A celebration of Linda’s life is planned for this coming August, in honor of her birthday. In lieu of flowers, you are invited to honor her memory with a donation to the Boston Museum of Science or Groton Hill Music Center. In the months ahead, Linda’s friends look forward to announcing the Linda Brown Legacy Fund to support students from across the country on their road to college.

About Linda Brown: 

The education world has lost a remarkable leader. A leading charter school supporter, Linda Brown’s work was critical to the initial success of charter schools in Massachusetts and contributed to the creation of successful charter schools across the country. In 1993, in response to the poor academic outcomes of Massachusetts’ first charter schools, the Massachusetts Charter School Resource Center under Brown’s leadership set out to ensure that a dominant share of new charters would be truly excellent, founded by talented leaders and grounded from the start in proven strategies and design elements. The BES Fellowship launched in 2001, providing intensive, full-time training to individuals to create new charter schools of the highest quality under the re-formed nonprofit, Building Excellent Schools. From founding to 2018, Brown served as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Building Excellent Schools, now BES (build. excel. sustain.), a national education non-profit that identifies and prepares excellent leaders to transform education in their communities. BES Fellows have founded 200+ schools in 50 cities across 20 states and Washington DC, that currently educate 63,000+ students. Brown was an inductee into the National Alliance for Charter School’s Hall of Fame and held a B.A. in English from Boston University. 

About BES:

Since 2001, BES has identified and prepared more than 2,500 excellent leaders to transform education in their communities. From serving three states through the flagship BES Fellowship at its inception, to working in more than seven times that many currently, BES has expanded its offerings beyond school founding, supporting leaders at every stage of their journey to lead schools that reflect and respond to community needs. In 2019, BES renewed its focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, committing to support leaders in founding equitable and excellent schools for students across the country. Today BES stands for its aspiration for every school: Build, Excel, Sustain. Learn more at