Rafael Alvarez

Lecturer in Management - Entrepreneurship

Named by Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s top 30 social entrepreneurs, Rafael Alvarez was founder and CEO of Genesys Works and is currently Co-founder and Chief People Officer of Moderno Porcelain Works.

Established in 2002, Genesys Works is a national non-profit social enterprise that changes the trajectory of life for underprivileged high school students, from one destined to a lifetime of low wage, dead-end jobs, to one in which they will fully participate in the economic mainstream. This is done by training and employing students to work in meaningful internships at major corporations during their senior year in high school so they can discover that they can indeed enter and succeed in the corporate world. Alvarez took Genesys Works from an idea in his head to a national social enterprise, employing over one thousand people in seven major American cities.

In 2019 Alvarez co-started Moderno Porcelain Works, a corporation with not only a profit motive but also a strong purpose. Working with the newest technology in large format porcelain surfaces, Moderno seeks to hire thousands of young people and engage them into successful career paths. 

Alvarez became an Ashoka Fellow in 2006, was awarded the sole Entrepreneurial Leadership Award from Texas A&M University in 2012 and was inducted into the Immigrant Entrepreneur Hall of Fame also in 2012.

Professor Alvarez has been a faculty member of Rice University’s Jones Business School, teaching social entrepreneurship, since 2015.

Prior to starting Genesys Works, Rafael worked for eleven years at Compaq Computer Corporation (now HP) as a corporate strategist and in other engineering management positions. Rafael holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Houston. He resides in Houston with his wife and three daughters.

Teaching Interests: 
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Business Planning