ChangeMakers: Carla Javits


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Carla Javits is President and CEO of REDF (The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund), a pioneering venture philanthropy galvanizing a national movement of social enterprises—purpose-driven, revenue-generating businesses that help people striving to overcome employment barriers get good jobs, keep those jobs, and build better lives. Through her stewardship, REDF has invested in more than 100 social enterprises in 21 states. These businesses have generated $327 million in revenue and employed 21,000 people—and counting. REDF’s goal is to see 50,000 people employed by 2020, contributing their skills and talents to our communities and helping to build a stronger, more inclusive society.

Inspired by the leadership of REDF’s founder, George R. Roberts, Carla focuses on achieving measurable results by leveraging the business community’s knowledge, networks, and resources, and the mission of the nonprofit sector to address some of our country’s most pressing challenges. In fighting to create a more inclusive society, Carla is carrying on the legacy of her father, New York Senator Jacob Javits.

In overseeing strategy, relationship building, and fundraising, Carla Javits works directly with the leadership team as well as the Board of Directors and Advisory Council which are instrumental to REDF’s success. In leading REDF’s national expansion, Carla has laid the foundation for REDF to dramatically increase the number of people whose lives are transformed by social enterprise.

Under Carla’s leadership, REDF was awarded two federal Social Innovation Fund grants by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Additionally the Los Angeles Business Times awarded REDF the Nonprofit Social Enterprise of the Year award in 2013. San Francisco Magazine recognized Carla in their list of innovative Bay Area Philanthropists. Carla is called on frequently to share her expertise at a variety of domestic and international conferences and speaking engagements, including the Social Enterprise World Forum in Milan, Italy, the Social Traders Master Conference in Melbourne, Australia, and most recently, as part of the American Enterprise Institute “Disruptor” Series in Washington, DC.

Before joining REDF, Carla was the national President and CEO of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, where she was responsible for providing grants, loans, and technical assistance to service-enriched housing initiatives that ended homelessness for tens of thousands. She was Program Analyst with the California Office of the Legislative Analyst and Director of Policy and Planning for the San Francisco Department of Social Services.

Carla holds a BA and Master’s in Public Policy from UC Berkeley. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Melville Charitable Trust and as an Advisor to the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University. Carla is President of the Marian B. and Jacob K. Javits Foundation; and a member of the Advisory Committee of The Philanthropic Initiative as well as the Insight Center for Community Economic Development’s National Advisory Board.

Away from work, Carla likes spending time with her partner, her grown children, and her dog. She enjoys music, movies, theater, cooking, and being outdoors.

Learn more about REDF here:

78 episodes