Carmen grew up in Gilmanton, NH. She studied International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. After graduation, she lobbied Congress on US foreign policy issues in Latin America and served as a program officer at an international foundation. She switched gears to focus on state and local issues in her master’s program at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.
In 2006, Carmen moved to upstate New York, where she served as Senior Economic Development Specialist at Camoin Associates of Saratoga Springs. At Camoin, she worked with more than 50 communities across the Northeast crafting economic development strategies, raising millions of dollars for revitalization programs, and analyzing the return on investment for large-scale development projects.
In 2011, Carmen returned home to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire to serve as executive director of the Belknap Economic Development Council (Belknap EDC), where she helped the organization find its niche in the post-recession landscape and collaborated on several new programs, including www.lakesregioninternships.com.
In January 2014, Carmen was appointed by Governor Maggie Hassan to serve as Director of the NH Division of Economic Development where she oversees the state’s economic development programs. Carmen is known for building partnerships and is a firm believer in the power of collective impact.