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Roberto Carlos Torres
Institute Staff


Senior Program Manager

Roberto Carlos Torres uses the pronouns he, him, and “el” in Spanish and has a strong passion and commitment to good governance and equity for marginalized communities. He served as the first Climate Equity Specialist for the City of San Diego and has worked to reimagine how San Diego’s Communities of Concern are best served. Roberto led the City’s efforts to co-develop the first-of-its-kind Climate Equity Index in partnership with various community-based organizations. He also instituted an innovative and more inclusive approach to community engagement. Roberto was part of the team that updated the City’s groundbreaking 2015 Climate Action Plan to be even bolder and more equitable. With his leadership and support, the updated plan includes a net-zero goal by 2035, firm commitments to prioritize investments and resources in Communities of Concern, and an implementation plan to hold the City accountable.


Before his work with the City, Roberto was a community organizer, pushing for more equitable policies and practices across San Diego County. He earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Government and Communication Studies at Sacramento State University and has previously worked in the cities of San Pablo and Richmond, as well as in the Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Energy Commission. Born and raised in San Francisco, then later moving to Richmond, California, Roberto has a passion for environmental justice and a drive to make government work for marginalized communities across the state. He currently lives in San Diego with his partner Oscar, two dogs – Tobias “Tobi” and Whiskey, and their cat – Tyberius “Ty” – and enjoys camping and spending time outdoors, especially out by San Diego’s world-class beaches.

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