Lori Ann Ospina is the Associate Director of IRLE. In her role, she helps set the strategy for the Institute, while overseeing student and academic programming. Ospina has more than fifteen years of experience bringing innovative research, programs, and policies to life. She has been an advocate, a researcher, and an entrepreneur – always with a deep commitment to empowering workers and addressing systemic inequality.
Prior to joining the IRLE team, Ospina was a private consultant in California’s Central Valley, where she supported local non-profits with strategic planning and development. She was also the Director of Strategic Advancement for the San Joaquin Children’s Alliance, a coalition of local organizations working to increase investment in San Joaquin County’s youngest citizens. Before working independently, she directed the design and planning of the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED), a first of its kind city-focused guaranteed income initiative. Previously, she led research activities for a groundbreaking experiment at the University of California, Hastings College of Law that collaborated with Gap, Inc. to evaluate the effect of more predictable scheduling practices on retail workers. She co-authored the study findings report, which found that stores who invest in greater worker stability are more profitable.
Early in her career, Ospina pioneered the Grameen Foundation’s first field-office in Latin America. Based in Medellin, Colombia she led data-driven programs that enabled rural coffee, cacao, and banana farmers to compete in the modern economy. She received a Masters Degree from Goldman School of Public Policy at Berkeley, and is a graduate of the Colorado College. She is fluent in Spanish.