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Rafael Alvarez

McNair Hall




Named by Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s top 30 social entrepreneurs, Rafael Alvarez is founder and CEO of Genesys Works.


Established in 2002, Genesys Works is a non-profit social enterprise that changes the trajectory of life for underprivileged high school students, from one destined to a lifetime of low wage, dead-end jobs, to one in which they will fully participate in the economic mainstream. This is done by training and employing students to work in meaningful internships at major corporations during their senior year in high school so they can discover that they can indeed enter and succeed in the corporate world.


As a leading example of social enterprise, Genesys Works has a “double bottom line” value proposition that allows it to engage the largest corporations in each of the cities in which it operates, into its mission. Under Rafael’s guidance and vision, Genesys Works has at an average annual rate of 40 percent, from an idea in his head, to serving 10 students in its first year, to now serving over 1,500 students a year in Houston, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Chicago and San Francisco/Oakland.


Rafael is a faculty member of Rice University’s Jones Business School, teaching social entrepreneurship. He became an Ashoka Fellow in 2006, was awarded the sole Entrepreneurial Leadership Award from Texas A&M University in 2012 and was inducted into the Immigrant Entrepreneur Hall of Fame also in 2012.


Prior to starting Genesys Works, Rafael worked for eleven years at Compaq Computer Corporation (now HP) as a corporate strategist and in other engineering management positions. Rafael holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Houston. He resides in Houston with his wife and three daughters.


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