Carlos Lejnieks


Carlos Lejnieks is CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties based in Newark, NJ and past chair of BBBS of NJ. Carlos has helped strengthen and expand the agency in his 16 year tenure. Under his leadership, BBBS has received numerous awards including a formal recognition by President Obama. In 2018, he rang the Closing Bell at the NY Stock Exchange in honor of this 10th anniversary at BBBS. 

Carlos has harnessed his grassroots experience to advise on state and federal policy related to youth and family support, including service on the New Jersey Governor’s Council to advocate for families most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Carlos has also served on President Obama’s Regional Finance Committee, Governor Chris Christie’s Education Transition Team, Governor Phil Murphy’s Transition Team and Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s Transition Team.

Earlier in his career, Carlos served as a school administrator in Newark and held positions at Goldman Sachs and CN Communications. A purpose-driven volunteer, Carlos is a co-founder and trustee of Democracy Prep Public Schools based in Harlem. He is a gubernatorial appointee to the New Jersey Real Estate Commission representing the public’s interest. Carlos is chairman of Jersey City Medical Center and serves on the boards of Saint Peter’s University, New Jersey City University and New Jersey’s public television station. He is a recipient of the Aspen Foundation’s emerging leaders fellowship and the 2018 American Express Leadership Academy Alumni Award winner.

A former collegiate wrestler, Carlos is active with his alma mater serving as a trustee of Brown University and became president-elect of the Brown Alumni Association in 2019, Brown’s first person of Latinx heritage to serve in this role. Carlos holds a BA from Brown University, an MSc from the London School of Economics and an Honorary Doctorate from Saint Peter’s University. In 2014, he was given the inaugural Presidential Medallion from NJCU for his service to the community.