Kristin was selected as an Ashoka Fellow “as a leading social entrepreneur whom we recognize to have innovative solutions and the potential to change patterns across society.” Her passion for cross-cultural understanding began with her one-year study abroad experience as a Rotary exchange student in South Africa at age fifteen. That experience changed her life and set her on a committed path to explore the world, challenge injustices, and pursue transformational learning opportunities for herself and others. Towards the end of the Cold War, Kristin began studying the Russian language in college and then lived in Moscow right before the break-up of the Soviet Union. She graduated with honors and a triple major in Soviet Area Studies, Russian Language, and International Relations at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Kristin then became the International Projects Director for a Seattle-based, international events and consulting company called Bob Walsh Enterprsies, Inc., where she directed the operations of the Moscow and Tbilisi (Georgia, ex-USSR) offices. Kristin spent her twenties living and working abroad in Moscow, Paris, London, and Tbilisi, where she developed a passion for global thinking, international project management experience, and a keen appreciation for understanding other cultures. At the age of 30, Kristin moved back to the USA and Seattle and decided that after years of living abroad, it was time begin her life’s work by combining her passion for international understanding and commitment to social justice. In 2002, she founded OneWorld Now!, the global leadership program for undeserved youth. Just two years later, OneWorld Now! was recognized as “one of the nation’s most innovative after school programs” by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. OneWorld Now! is now a national model for international education that ensures access for historically underrepresented youth. Kristin was appointed by then-Governor Christine Gregoire to serve on the Board of Trustees for The Evergreen State College (2007-12). Kristin currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Fund for Education Abroad in Washington, D.C. She is also the Official Spokesperson for the Global Access Pipeline (GAP), a national consortium whose mission is to increase the representation, preparedness, and retention of underrepresented groups in the international arena.