Carmen Garcia has passionately spent her career working in the public sector on behalf of low-income and minority populations. Currently, Carmen is a Policy Specialist for the Ounce of Prevention Fund, a nonprofit that supports children for success in life by improving access to and quality of early childhood programs. Prior to joining the Ounce, Carmen worked in state government on behalf of working families receiving the Child Care Assistance Program. Carmen promoted community engagement and entrepreneurship by supporting minority and women-owned small businesses in western Illinois and eastern Iowa. Carmen has also been an advocate for the uninsured by helping disenfranchised populations attain public benefits to cover medical costs.

Carmen graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a human rights concentration and earned a Master of Public Administration from Drake University. Carmen is active in several social justice, women’s rights and progressive organizations. Born and raised in Moline, Illinois, her parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico and their unconditional support and encouragement allowed her to be a first-generation college graduate. Carmen enjoys travelling and lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.