Meet Our Team
Carlos Mark Vera
Co-Founder, Executive Director
Carlos Mark Vera is the Co-Founder and current Executive Director of Pay Our Interns. Originally from Colombia, Carlos was raised in California, but moved to Washington, D.C. to attend American University. While at AU, Carlos was an unpaid intern at the White House, the European Parliament, and the House of Representatives. He knows firsthand the struggles of trying to survive while interning for free. Under his leadership, Pay Our Interns successfully convinced Congress to pass more than $31 million in funding for interns and has helped nonprofits, companies, and presidential campaigns create their internship programs.
Carlos’ efforts on Capitol Hill led him to be named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree, Echoing Green Fellow, Camelback Ventures Fellow, a Top 20 Changemaker by NBC Latino, and an Aspen Ideas Fellow. He has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR’s All Things Considered, The New York Times, CNN and The Atlantic. He has also written for The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, USA Today, and NBC Latino. Carlos proudly served in the Army Reserves as a mechanic for 8 years.
Federal Affairs Manager
Habiba Mohamed is an advocate – always fighting to center those who have yet to see themselves in the halls of power. She’s the daughter of Somali refugees and a proud first-generation college student. She’s a 2016 graduate of D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. Habiba knows the barriers unpaid labor reinforce and is working to expand access to paid and well-rounded internship experiences for people in our communities. Building on her experience with Journey’s End Refugee Services, the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and most recently the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Habiba is excited to remind policymakers that we should all be afforded the opportunity to not only survive—but to thrive.
Michelle is a partnerships fellow at Pay Our Interns. She grew up in California with her mother and siblings, and her work is guided by aspirations to make the future a kinder place for immigrants, families, and low-income and first-generation students. Through her internship experiences, including a position at the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (previously OPIC), Michelle understands how unpaid internships uphold inequities and disproportionately raise the barrier to entry for students who come from underrepresented communities. She recently worked on the investment selection team at New Profit and has spent several years across the nonprofit space. Michelle recently graduated from Yale University with a degree in economics and is excited to support Pay Our Interns’ community building efforts.
William A. Powers