Jennifer Esperanza, Ph.D.

Senior Director of Organizational Culture and Strategy

As Senior Director of Organizational Culture and Strategy, Jennifer promotes Coopera’s efforts to ensure financial inclusion for a variety of underserved populations. She is a trained cultural anthropologist with two decades of research and teaching experience on the intersections of culture and economics. She provides training for staff on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) topics, advises organizations on best practices to ensure equitable workplaces, and assists credit unions to design products and services that are culturally relevant.

Jennifer spent 17 years in academia—teaching courses in cultural anthropology, sociolinguistics, immigration and consumer culture. She has taught at North Carolina State University, Southwestern University, and since 2008, was a professor at Beloit College in southern Wisconsin, where she was the first Asian American woman to be promoted for tenure.

The daughter of immigrants from the Philippines, Jennifer was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She grew up in a bilingual household, in addition to studying Russian, Spanish and German during her middle and high school years. She majored in Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Southern California, and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Jennifer is frequently invited to give public lectures on topics including immigration, DEI and organizational change for corporate and non-profit audiences, and she serves on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Humanities Council. An avid storyteller, she has performed at live storytelling venues such as The Moth, 80 Minutes Around the World and the Wisconsin Book Festival. An avid foodie, traveler and embroidery-geek, Jennifer resides in Wisconsin with her husband and two children. 

Speaking Engagements

Are you looking for someone to speak at your next conference or meeting? Jennifer would be happy to speak on the topics of multicultural membership, DEI and financial inclusion.

Jennifer Esperanza Headshot, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion