Boston, MA — Today, Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath), a nearly 200-year-old organization that dramatically improves the lives of people living in poverty, announced former Boston Mayor Kim Janey as its new president & CEO. A long-time champion for economic justice in the Boston area, Janey will join the organization on June 1, 2022.
Janey carries a strong connection to EMPath as she takes the reins as president & CEO, having received support from the organization as a young mom. The program she was a part of provided her with life-changing assistance to ensure she was able to continue her high school education while entering parenthood.
“Stepping into a leadership role at an organization that transformed my life early on is truly a full-circle moment and makes this transition even more exciting,” said Janey. “I’m proud to continue the work I’ve done for much of my career—building and strengthening communities and advocating for children and families. I look forward to working alongside my new colleagues to expand on the impact the organization has already had in the Boston area and across the country.”
Janey brings a deep well of experience as a social justice leader, community organizer, and advocate for racial and economic justice to her role at EMPath. Janey made history when she was sworn in as Boston’s first woman and first Black mayor, successfully leading the City through a multitude of unprecedented challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. During her time in office, Janey developed initiatives to help curb displacement. Her housing agenda quadrupled down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers, provided rental assistance to tenants, and made historic investments in housing in the City’s budget, among other reforms.
Prior to becoming Mayor, Janey was elected to the Boston City Council in 2017 as the first woman to represent District 7. In 2020, she was elected by her peers to serve as president of the most diverse City Council in Boston’s history. In her previous role at Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Janey championed systemic policy reforms to increase equity, excellence, access, and opportunity in Boston Public Schools.
“EMPath is thrilled to have former Boston Mayor Kim Janey lead the way as we begin our next chapter,” said EMPath Board Chair Rob Reilly. “This is a pivotal moment for the organization as we work towards our vision of a world where every person experiencing poverty gets the tools, skills, and support they need get out of it—for good. With Mayor Janey’s deep understanding of the issue and longstanding commitment to serving her community, we know she’s the right person to get us there.”
EMPath is best known for its Mobility Mentoring® model, a research-backed coaching method for helping people in poverty climb the economic ladder. Since its launch over a decade ago, the model has helped families with low incomes to double and even triple their incomes, unlocking opportunities to access stable housing, get advanced degrees and good jobs, save money, and more.
The organization has also created a global learning network of nearly 150 human services organizations across the country—the Economic Mobility Exchange™ (“the Exchange”)—who have adapted the Mobility Mentoring model and are working to re-envision the systems that serve people in poverty. Through the Exchange, EMPath has impacted the lives of over 300,000 people working toward economic mobility.
EMPath has an ambitious strategic plan, aiming to serve one million people in the coming years through its Exchange partners. The organization has raised over $10 million during the past two years to fund this plan, which includes engaging a cohort of early childhood organization partners as well as launching a new program and evaluation that will serve over 250 Boston Housing Authority residents. Janey will lead the organization’s efforts to reach more families across the country and improve outcomes for those trying to move out of poverty.
Janey succeeds Beth Babcock, who announced her retirement last year after 16 years at the helm of EMPath, where she grew the organization to become a leader in economic mobility in the U.S.
“EMPath is so fortunate to have a proven trailblazer for racial and economic justice step into the role of president & CEO,” said Beth Babcock, the organization’s outgoing president & CEO. “I have no doubt that her decades of experience will allow the organization to reach even more families across the world with our life-changing coaching approach. I look forward to seeing EMPath continue to put its mission into action in the years to come.”
In addition to its economic mobility coaching model and member network, EMPath conducts research and legislative advocacy for what works.
Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath) is a nearly 200-year-old organization that dramatically improves the lives of people living in poverty. Because creating economic opportunity is multifaceted, EMPath’s approach is too. EMPath offers a unique combination of direct services; a learning network of human services organizations; and research and advocacy for what works. This “virtuous circle” allows each part of the organization’s work to inform what it knows, does, and shares with others to seed systemic change. To learn more, visit empathways.org.