2023 Leadership Summit Speaker

Carlos Lejnieks

CEO and President

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties

Alma Mater: Brown University

Carlos Lejnieks is CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties and is past chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Jersey. Carlos took over an atrophied BBBS agency in 2008 and, within four years, went from serving approximately 100 youth to serving well over 1,100 annually. Under his leadership, BBBS has received numerous awards from local and national entities, including a formal recognition by President Obama.

Carlos has taken his grassroots experience to inform policy, having served on President Barack Obama’s Regional Finance Committee, Governor Phil Murphy’s Transition Team and Governor Chris Christie’s Education Transition Team. He recently served on the New Jersey’s Governor’s Advisory Council tasked with policy supports for 1.2 million families most affected by the pandemic.

Active with his alma mater, Carlos is a Brown University Corporation board member, serving on its Budget & Finance and Governance & Nominating Committees. Carlos is also president of the Brown University Alumni Association Board of Governors, representing 110,000 alumni worldwide. He is Brown’s first Latinx president in its history.

In 2022, Carlos was named chairman of Jersey City Medical Center, having served on its board since 2011. Carlos is JCMC’s first “diverse” chair since its founding in 1882. In 2021, Carlos was nominated by Governor Murphy to the board of New Jersey City University, where he now serves on its executive committee.

An Aspen Fellow, Carlos was selected as one of twelve people in the world in Aspen’s “Emerging Leaders” cohort in 2012 and, in 2011, he graduated from the American Express Leadership Academy. In 2018, Carlos won the American Express Global Leadership Academy Alumni award. In 2019, he was inducted into The Alumni Society, a professional association honoring Latinx executives from around the country.

Carlos has a B.A. degree in international relations and commerce from Brown University and an M.Sc. degree from the London School of Economics. In 2011, he was given an honorary doctorate from Saint Peter’s University, where he delivered its commencement address. In 2016, he delivered the commencement address at the London School of Economics.