At The Workers Lab we are thrilled to share that Adrian Haro is our permanent CEO. He becomes the second Latino/a and queer CEO in our organization's history.
Founder Dr. Carmen Rojas served in the role of CEO from our start in 2014 through October 2019. On November 3, 2019, Adrian Haro stepped in to serve as Interim CEO.
“Our partnership with Adrian and his team has been fruitful in providing support and joining a network of innovators to launch our social enterprises on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation,” says Tatewin Means, Executive Director, Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation. “The Innovation Fund provided us the resources and network to launch our social enterprise initiative and refine our workforce development program, which have proven critical with our community before, during and after this global crisis.”
Under Adrian’s leadership as Interim CEO, The Workers Lab has expanded our signature program, The Innovation Fund. To date, The Innovation Fund has distributed over $3.5 million in grants to 46 innovators, including Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation.
Adrian has been laying the foundation for The Workers Lab future since he joined the organization as Managing Director in 2017. In that role, he was instrumental in developing The Innovation Fund, as well as shepherding the organization through a strategic planning process, overseeing the formation of The Workers Lab as a stand-alone non-profit, and doubling our staff and budget.
“The board of directors, staff, and funders are excited that Adrian Haro will step into the permanent CEO role,” says Margot Brandenberg, board chair of The Workers Lab. “Adrian has earned our dedication and trust in these exciting and unprecedented times. We know that the organization and field are under superb leadership.”
Outstanding Leadership Through Growth and Crisis
In his time as Interim CEO, Adrian demonstrated his strengths as a leader and communicator with both internal and external stakeholders. A perfect example: our response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Earlier this year, The Workers Lab successfully completed the Workers Strength Fund, the largest emergency direct cash transfer experiment of its kind. Under Adrian’s direction as Interim CEO, The Workers Lab used those recently gleaned learnings to provide immediate relief to workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Workers Fund COVID-19 Rapid Response launched on March 23, and by early April, had begun to get $1,000 emergency cash into the hands of workers harmed by the employment crisis. To date, The Workers Fund has given $1.5 million in financial relief to more than 1,800 gig, low-earning contract, work-for-hire, and part-time workers.
“Adrian’s steady leadership and drive for innovation make him perfect to lead The Workers Lab through this next stage of growth,” says Sarah Keh, vice president at Prudential Financial, one of the funders of our Workers Strength Fund pilot. “As a long-standing funder of The Workers Lab, a partner that furthers our commitment to put all individuals on the path to financial security, I look forward to seeing how the organization, under Adrian’s leadership, continues to evolve to a state-of-the-art laboratory and network of innovators working to build power for workers.”
We’re Proud to Have Our Second Queer, Latino/a CEO
Adrian will continue The Workers Lab’s legacy of strong and diverse leadership. In being named permanent CEO, he demonstrates the organization’s broad commitment to actively combating the concerning trend of lackluster diversity and representation in business, philanthropy, and innovation. The Workers Lab remains one of the few national organizations in this sector with a first generation staff comprised almost entirely of queer people of color.
“I remain honored to be part of this dynamic team at The Workers Lab,” says Adrian. “To be named CEO at this critical growth moment for the organization is a special privilege and I am grateful for the opportunity. I look forward to building upon the incredible work of our founder Dr. Carmen Rojas by giving new ideas about increasing power for workers a chance at a time when new ideas are needed the most.”
Our entire community - including our board of directors, staff, partners, and funders - is excited to continue to collaborate with Adrian in this permanent CEO role.
Celebrate The Workers Lab with a Gift
The Workers Lab envisions a world where workers are drivers of economic, political, and social transformation in our society. Join our community in showing support for The Workers Lab and its new CEO by making a gift today.