An expert on refugee and immigrant economic inclusion, Jina Krause-Vilmar brings more than 15 years of experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors to Upwardly Global. As President and CEO of Upwardly Global, she oversees the organization’s workforce operations in the United States and abroad. She also leads its policy & advocacy efforts domestically and internationally. Under Jina’s leadership, Upwardly Global has expanded its impact by helping a growing number of immigrant and refugee professionals restart their careers in the United States and expanded its operations to Warsaw, Poland.
Before Upwardly Global, Jina spearheaded efforts at two leading international and humanitarian organizations to craft and implement solutions to enable women refugees to safely access economic opportunity in partnership from the government, the United Nations, and corporations. Previously, Jina started the Near East Foundation’s refugee portfolio in Jordan and Lebanon, advising the U.S. Department of State and USAID on Iraq and Syria response, initiating the One Refugee Response, and leading its women’s empowerment work.
Jina has also served as a consultant for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and co-chaired, alongside UN Women, an international network of agencies to advance women and girls. Previously, she also worked for the International Rescue Committee, Chemonics, and Women for Women International. She has been interviewed on MSNBC, CNBC, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and the Guardian and published in CNN, Times Magazine, and other news outlets.
Jina was born and raised in Texas. Coming from an immigrant family, she was raised by her mother, where Jina learned that circumstance, color, and gender do not define someone’s worth or potential. Later, Jina earned a Bachelor’s degree in Government from the University of Texas at Austin, earned her MSc in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics, and a certificate in political studies from University of Aix-Marseille.
Jina currently calls New York City home, where she lives with her husband and children.