Our People

Staff Profile

Kristen J. Molyneaux

Vice President, Social Impact, Lever for Change

Kristen leads the Social Impact team for Lever for Change which provides programmatic and technical supports to applicants and grantees.

Kristen was previously the Senior Program Officer for the Foundation’s 100&Change initiative, a competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve a critical problem of our time. In this role, Kristen co-developed, designed, and launched the inaugural 100&Change competition. She currently manages various aspects of the competition including scope of initiative, the provision of technical support to competition participants, and due diligence processes. Currently, Kristen oversees the Foundation’s $100 million investment in Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee.

Kristen joined the MacArthur Foundation in 2013 as a Program Officer in the Girls' Secondary Education in Developing Countries program where she oversaw the strategic trajectory of the GSE portfolio. This work included global engagement activities focused on strengthening the policy and evidence base for secondary education. During this time, she also played a critical leadership role in forming the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE) donor collaborative which has granted over $50 million dollars to global educational programs to date.

Before joining the Foundation, Kristen was a Program Officer at the Firelight Foundation where she led the organization’s investments in early childhood and primary education. Previously, she was a post-doctoral research fellow at Florida State University where she taught graduate courses on international education development, gender, and education policy, while also publishing scholarly articles on the importance of role models for young women interested in pursuing STEM related careers.

Kristen served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in both Uganda and Cape Verde. In both countries, she worked extensively with primary and pre-primary teacher training programs focused on improving the quality of teacher methodology and school culture within resource-poor school environments.

Kristen serves on the Board of Directors for the Comparative International Education Society (CIES).

Kristen obtained her B.S. degree from SUNY Oswego and M.S. from Florida State University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies—Comparative International Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Kristen J. Molyneaux works on the following MacArthur programs and projects:

100&Change

Lever for Change

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100&Change Webinar 1: "Big Bets" for Social Change

Building on extensive client work and research, this webinar discusses the facts around “big bets,” what makes an initiative more “big bettable,” and why some of our common behaviors and strategic choices can undermine our work. Read More
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100&Change Webinar 2 - From Theory to Logic to Action

This webinar focuses on developing and using theories of change and logic models to write effective proposals and gather evidence on your project’s progress and effectiveness to advance your research or organization’s goals. Read More
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100&Change Webinar 3 - How do Funders Think About Impact Investing?

This webinar breaks down some of the mythology around how funders think—heads-up, they think a lot about this topic—and what they are looking for in the projects they support. Read More
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