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Staff Profile

Kristen J. Molyneaux

Vice President, Social Impact, Lever for Change

Kristen J. Molyneaux


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 Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Oswego and Master of Science degree from Florida State University. She obtained her PhD in Educational Policy Studies—Comparative International Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

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