José Garcia is the Program Officer in the Quality Work and Economic Security unit of Inclusive Economies at the Ford Foundation. Before joining, he served as the Program Officer for Strong Local Economies at the Surdna Foundation. During his tenure, he led the design and implementation of a $4 million grantmaking portfolio to spur business development and acceleration while focusing on quality job and wealth creation. His Surdna portfolio focused on double and triple bottom line local businesses and organizations assisting the growth of people of color, women, and immigrant-owned businesses.
Prior to joining Surdna, José worked as a Policy Fellow at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) in the Wealth Building Policy Project. During his tenure, he coauthored the book Foreclosure to Fair Lending: Advocacy, Organizing, Occupy, and the Pursuit of Equitable Credit and the policy report Making the Mortgage Market Work for America’s Families. Shortly before his time at NCLR, Jose deviated from his career path to assist his family's small business during a period of transition where he was able to see first-hand how economic policies affect mom and pop shops.
José has dedicated much of his career to public policy analysis and implementation on issues related to household credit and debt, youth economics, voting rights, census advocacy and social-demographic analysis. As the Associate Director for the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos, he authored dozens of reports on household debt, and co-authored the book Up to Our Eyeballs: How Shady Lenders and Failed Economic Policies are Drowning Americans in Debt. Mr. Garcia has appeared on a variety of national television outlets and radio and has been quoted in national, local, and ethnic newspapers and journals including The Boston Globe, BusinessWeek, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Fox Business News, Shelter Force, Univision, and El Diario.
José received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton and Master of Social Work in Social Policy from the University of Connecticut. He served on the boards of the Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG) and the Workers Lab and is also on the advisory board of the New York City Comptroller’s Office of Diversity Initiatives.