This is an early version of the speakers page and is subject to change.

Know more at allamericassummit.sistercities.org

Virginia Carefoote

Harvard Fellow, Economic Development Department, City of San Antonio, Texas, USA

Virginia Carefoote is the inaugural Fellow for the Harvard Kennedy School Taubman Center for State and Local Government Economic Development Fellowship, a one-year program that embeds graduates of the Harvard Kennedy School in state and local economic development offices. As part of the program, Virginia has focused on two primary areas within the City of San Antonio’s Economic Development Department: (1) utilizing public procurement as a tool for economic development, and (2) mitigating the impacts of large-scale construction projects on local small businesses. Raised in a small business household, Virginia is passionate about entrepreneurship and small business ownership as pathways to economic mobility.

Virginia is energized by the role of cities as the “doers” – as the most trusted government institutions and those that are most proximate to residents, local governments are uniquely positioned to affect change. She earned her master’s in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School with a concentration in Urban Development. During her master’s program, Virginia became actively involved in programming focused on urban policy issues, including participating in the Economic Development Seminar Series, co-organizing the urban/rural policy spring break trek to Alaska, and participating in Governor Maura Healey’s transition team, where she supported the governor-elect’s team in translating their campaign agenda into an actionable governing plan.

Virginia began her career in public accounting in New York City, working on financial and operational audits for Fortune 500 banking clients, but left New York after realizing her heart was in the public sector. She then served as a community and economic development volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Senegal and as an AmeriCorps member in New York City’s Division of Housing Policy, where she fell in love with local government. Virginia is from Toronto, Canada, and earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.