Karla López del Río
Karla brings a wealth of community development experience and housing expertise to augment our Center’s capacity and impact. She specializes in creating collaborations and leading research initiatives that promote more equitable public policies. In all her efforts, she leverages her expertise and passion to help communities reach their fullest potential. In her various professional positions, she has forged thousands of community-centered, multi-level, cross-sectoral partnerships among public, private, and local organizations, leading to increased civic engagement, housing solutions, and innovative resident-led projects. Over the years, her work has resulted in multi-million dollar investments in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods across Southern California.
Karla served as the U.S. Census Bureau’s Lead Partnership Specialist for the Inland Empire during the 2020 Decennial. Her team helped to significantly improve Census response rates, equating to billions of dollars of increased federal funding and political representation for the region. Her research focuses on demographic changes, drawing upon her perspective as a first-generation immigrant, real estate background, and social enterprise experience.
Karla is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University. She earned a Bachelor’s in Development Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and has received poverty alleviation and community building awards from NeighborWorks America and from UC Berkeley’s Alum Center for Developing Economies.