Karla López del Río
Karla brings a wealth of community development experience and housing expertise to augment our Center’s capacity and impact. She has helped forge many partnerships among public, private, and grassroots organizations, leading to increased civic engagement, innovative community-led projects, and affordable housing solutions, including homeownership.
Prior to joining CSI, Karla served as the U.S. Census Bureau’s Lead Partnership Specialist for Riverside County. Her team created hundreds of multi-level and multi-stakeholder collaborations across the region to increase the Census questionnaire response rates for historically hard-to-count populations.
For over a decade, before joining the Census Bureau, Karla dedicated her passion and career to affordable housing, homeownership, and community development. Her focus on empowering grassroots and grass-top organizations alike spurred stakeholder-resident collaborations that continue even today. Through regional events, community building, and leadership training programs, stakeholders developed new organizations and deployed innovative multi-million-dollar investments that improved quality of life in several low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.
Karla also brings to her work insights as a first-generation immigrant, background in real estate, and experience in social enterprise management. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University. Karla has received awards from UC Berkeley’s Blum Center for Developing Economies and from NeighborWorks America in the categories of poverty alleviation and community building. She earned a Bachelor’s in Development Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.