Dedicated to creating a more equitable and inclusive community, Karleen Porcena is an authentic leader who is driven to inclusive economic advancement. With over 10 years of comprehensive community development experience within the Greater Boston area, Karleen aims to create innovative strategies and partnerships to move the dial on the racial wealth gap.
As the daughter of Haitian immigrants, Karleen uses her unique lived experience coupled with professional knowledge to build comprehensive solutions to economic disparities. In her current role as the Senior Program Officer for Economic Opportunity at the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s largest community development corporation, she challenges her peers to keep the focus of our work anchored around the people and systems we aim to change. Karleen oversees all economic development strategies at LISC Boston, including asset building, entrepreneurship, and neighborhood economic development activities. As the previous Massachusetts Kiva Advisor, Karleen ensures that entrepreneurs with barriers to accessing loans through traditional financial institutions are able to receive the investment they need for their business to thrive.
Karleen is passionate about building bridges between people, communities, and networks with intentions to have an equal playing field for all. She brings to her work a wide variety of relationships with community organizations, business and resident leaders, elected officials, as well as faith-based institutions. She is a strong communicator, and has a unique ability to tell stories that resonate. Outside of the office Karleen has sat on a number of community boards including the Board of Trustees at The Food Project, Board member for the Madison Park Community Development Corporation, Advisory board member for the Mattapan Boys and Girls Club and many others.
Karleen has her M.B.A from Babson College in Wellesley, Ma and holds a double B.A in Comparative Politics and Spanish from Clark University in Worcester, MA.