Lorena Riffo-Jenson is the Director of Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development. Lorena leads the implementation of the economic, business development, and arts strategies and manages programs aimed to expand the city’s tax base, maintain stability, and support growth of diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic neighborhood economies, artists, arts organization, and create opportunity for local entrepreneurs.
Lorena holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Utah, Juris Doctor Degree from Brigham Young University, and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology, Certificate in Criminology, and minor in French from the University of Utah.
She began her career with the state of Utah in 1993 as a program manager for the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. For three years she served as the governor’s liaison with state and local agencies addressing issues affecting Utah’s Hispanic population. She developed a strategy to help Utah businesses during the 2002 Olympics, and served as Utah’s director of metro business development, expansion, retention, and procurement assistance. Throughout her career Lorena has worked to strategically assist government agencies, nonprofits, and corporations to reach diverse and ethnic communities. More recently, through her company Vox Creative, she ran a campaign that connected and educated marginalized communities regarding COVID-19 protocols and safety measures.
When not at work, Lorena loves to spend time with her family, garden, hike, and walk with her dog Alika.