• Carmen Rojas

    CEO, The Workers Lab

    Carmen Rojas is the CEO of The Workers Lab, an innovation lab that invests in entrepreneurs, community organizers, and technologists to create replicable and revenue generating solutions that improve conditions for low-wage workers. The Workers Lab invests capital, offers an accelerator program focused on business and leadership development, and connects ventures to a broad network of supporters to support their continued development and success.

    Prior to assuming this position, she was the Acting Director of Collective Impact at Living Cities. In this capacity, she played a pivotal role supporting the work of Living Cities’ member institutions, which represented 22 of the largest foundations and financial institutions in the world. Her work focused on improving economic opportunity for low- income people by supporting projects in the fields of economic & workforce development, energy efficiency, and asset building.

    From 2008 to 2011, Carmen was the Director of Strategic Programs at the Mitchell Kapor Foundation, where she oversaw the Foundation’s Green Access and Civic Engagement programs. Her charge involved participating in movement building efforts to build power in low-income communities and communities of color.

    Prior to joining the Foundation, Carmen was the Coordinator of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency’s Taskforce on African American Out-Migration. As Coordinator, she developed qualitative and quantitative reports for a taskforce established by San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom to address African American displacement from the city.

    Carmen holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and was a Fulbright Scholar in 2007. She taught in the Department of City & Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley from 2009-2011. Her teaching focused on the history of cities in the US, a practicum on local economic development, planning pedagogy, and race in the practice of city planning.

Related Video Conversations

  • Completed: September 21, 2017

    Resurrecting the Idea of Government as the Steward of Public Good

    Carmen Rojas, CEO of The Workers Lab, founded the workers lab because she wanted to help ensure that upward mobility remains a possibility in the American economy. Rojas spoke about the experience of her immigrant mother, who was offered workplace training, benefits, a living wage, and a no-interest loan to buy a house through her job cleaning an office building, all of which allowed her “a footstep into the middle class.”

    Participants: Carmen Rojas