Director of Advocacy and External Engagement
Inspiration: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
What working in this community means to me: “I am committed to mobilizing positive and meaningful change by working in coalition and partnership with our communities. I am excited to engage in our work together, through policy and advocacy, to effectively build more equitable practices and systems that will allow the Twin Cities to become a place of opportunity and prosperity for all.”
As Director of Advocacy and External Engagement, Kristen provides support and leadership for the organization’s policy agenda driving equitable systems change that is aligned with its strategic focus areas. Engaging more deeply in policy and advocacy allows United Way to leverage its unique position to address community issues through an integrated, holistic lens. Kristen joined United Way in 2012 where she managed partnerships with the Start Early Funders Coalition and MinneMinds to create aligned, state-wide efforts to ensure all children are prepared for kindergarten and lifelong success.
Prior to joining United Way, Kristen managed environmental compliance with Amoco Corporation and BP U.S. where she held several positions across various businesses groups within the organization- fostering her love of travel, aligning diverse perspectives around a common goal, and embracing new experiences. Kristen received her degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder where she realized her desire to focus her career in areas that advance meaningful impact and change.
Kristen has resided in Minnesota for the past 15 years and considers the Twin Cities home. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, taking advantage of the outdoors year-round, traveling, following Syracuse basketball, and attending professional and youth theatre productions. Kristen is an active member of the community and serves on the board of the Blue Water Theatre Company- a local nonprofit that provides young actors opportunities to learn, perform and experience theatre in ways that are meaningful and life-changing.