Josh Carpenter, Ph.D., is the Director of the newly formed Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity for the City of Birmingham. Formerly, Josh was Director of External Affairs in the Office of the President at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
At UAB, Josh spearheaded a city-wide partnership to secure $6 million to train disconnected youth for high-demand IT jobs. The program, called Innovate Birmingham, launched in 2017 and it has helped train over 100 young people receive demand-driven training to earn quality jobs. In 2014, Josh co-founded Bama Covered, a non-profit public health education initiative that trained and mobilized nearly 700 college students to engage in 100,000 conversations in the communities that surrounded their campuses. Due to its innovative approach in grassroots health education and student engagement, Bama Covered was featured in the New York Times, NPR, and NBC news among other national and local publications. Previously, Josh served as a White House intern and was a Teach for America corps member in Alabama’s inaugural corps. He taught English and theater, and coached football and baseball in Perry County, Alabama, where in 2012, he was named the state’s “Golden Apple Teacher of the Year.”
A Rhodes Scholar, Josh earned his M.Sc. in Comparative Social Policy and a D.Phil. in Politics at the University of Oxford, and he holds a B.S. in business from UAB. Josh is also an assistant professor in economics at UAB’s Collat School of Business and researches how job attainment alters notions of efficacy.