President and CEO, EMPath
President and CEO, EMPath
Kim Michelle Janey is the president & CEO of Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families living in poverty to dramatically improve their economic mobility. 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.
Janey has been at the center of Boston’s history — the bad and the good. At eleven years old, Janey was on the front lines of the battle to desegregate the city’s schools, facing rocks and racial slurs during Boston’s tumultuous busing era in the 1970’s. Forty-five years later, 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 global pandemic.
Janey began her tenure with a citywide agenda of recovery, reopening, and renewal to address systemic inequities exposed and exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Janey re-opened Boston’s economy and its public schools by centering equity and prioritizing health and wellness. She invested millions to support small businesses, expanded protections for renters and homeowners, and launched fare-free public transit. Under Mayor Janey’s leadership, Boston experienced its safest summer in 5 years and became one of the most vaccinated big cities in America.
Prior to becoming Mayor, Janey made history in 2017 when she was elected to the Boston City Council 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.
Devoting her life to public service, Janey has 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector. In her role at Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Janey championed systemic policy reforms to increase equity, excellence, access, and opportunity in Boston Public Schools. Prior to that, Janey worked as a Community Organizer, advocating for affordable, quality child care.
Most recently, Ms. Janey served as a Spring 2022 Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School where she designed and led a study group entitled Racial Justice and Recovery: Leading American Cities to a More Equitable Future. She also served as an Inaugural Fellow at the Berry Institute of Politics at Salem State University.
Kim Janey has been recognized for her years of service with a number of awards, including the Boston NAACP Difference Maker Award in 2015, the Sapphire Award in 2017, a Community Leadership Award in 2018, and the Hubie Jones Award in 2020. In 2021 Janey was named one of Boston’s Most Impactful Black Women and listed in Boston Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Bostonians.
A proud fourth generation Roxbury resident, Janey comes from a long line of educators, entrepreneurs, artists, and advocates. Janey was raised with values that guide her to this day: the importance of education, the power of community organizing, and the fundamental principles of equity and justice.