Jen Carnig leads Spitfire’s day-to-day operations and guides implementation of the firm’s overall strategy and vision for a future born from the struggle for freedom and justice. She is one of the nation’s leading strategists on the issues of policing and police accountability, community safety and the fight to protect our rights and humanity in the face of new technologies like artificial intelligence. A trusted advisor to leading social change activists, philanthropies looking to live their missions and mission-driven organizations, Jen has more than 20 years of experience leading major campaigns and seeding movements. An award-winning journalist, she previously led communications at the New York Civil Liberties Union for a decade. At Spitfire, Jen takes a particular joy in training the next generation of progressive communicators and is dedicated to creating a space where diverse leaders can hone the skills they need to lead the movements of tomorrow.
Jen grew up in Pittsburgh amid the city’s extended stretch of economic deprivation. She saw firsthand the result of failed leadership and lack of vision on a city and its constituent communities. She experienced how economic injustice and racial injustice go hand in hand – an experience that shapes her perspective to this day.
As a journalist, she won multiple awards for her work covering issues of religion and politics in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. She built on deep relationships with the largest Afghan community in the U.S. to center the perspectives and humanity of this group in the face of a relentless campaign of disinformation and nationalist fervor.
Jen specializes in leading some of Spitfire’s most difficult and high-stakes projects. She routinely supports organizations with serious communications challenges such as securing justice for the families of those murdered by police, helping companies build will to implement major structural changes in the interest of racial and environmental justice and coaching emerging leaders and whole fields to become powerful changemakers. Jen is known for providing personal counsel and coaching to individual justice seekers facing national and international scrutiny. She has trained and advised returning citizens, MacArthur Fellows, national movement leaders and the heads of some of the most targeted progressive companies so they can keep control of their most valuable asset – their stories.
Jen is a mother who lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with her two children and dog.