Esmeralda Herrera

Deputy Director, Capacity


Esmeralda Herrera, a passionate advocate with a global outlook and deep ties to the Bronx community, brings more than a decade of experience in propelling social change through entrepreneurship and community development.

Her global perspective was shaped through transformative experiences in India and China, where she worked closely with local artisans, entrepreneurs in rural Bihar and contributed to expanding experiential learning curricula in Beijing. Additionally, she played a crucial role in supporting changemaker conferences in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Esmeralda's journey has consistently been marked by her commitment to building startup infrastructures. She most recently led innovative projects that empowered local social entrepreneurs, notably spearheading an accelerator program in the Bronx and Harlem. Collaborating closely with founders, she assisted them in their social impact visions and developing business plans. Her visionary leadership culminated in the establishment of a comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculum, the nurturing of over 10 cohorts of idea-stage entrepreneurs, and the space activation of a dynamic incubation space for innovation and collaboration.

Her academic journey began with a linguistics degree from Reed College, igniting her enduring passion for learning and growth. She further enriched her cross-cultural perspective as an alumna of prestigious programs, including the AIF Bayan Fellowship, Princeton Asia Fellowship, CORO Workforce Leadership, Morgridge Acceleration Program Fellowship, and others.

A tireless champion for social justice, community, and inclusivity, Esmeralda's unwavering commitment drives her mission to create a more equitable and sustainable world. Her dedication extends beyond her professional life, as she actively contributes to the board of Farm School NYC as treasurer. She also previously served as a MAP Fellow at the Jane Goodall Institute. Her passion for sustainability is evidenced by her role as a compost apprentice and advisor at Earth Matter.

In her free time, she enjoys dancing and embarking on culinary adventures, reflecting her vibrant and multifaceted approach to life and work.