Christen brings a rare combination of business know-how and communications and policy expertise combined with an entrepreneurial spirit to realize her commitment to making social progress and advancements within the public education sector. She has strong communications and program management experience in the private and public sectors and a history of high-level client and membership engagement that has enabled her to achieve an exceptional record of accomplishment. She brings a focused, entrepreneurial approach to traditional institutions, helping them cultivate new ideas and implement fresh approaches to drive progress and success.
Christen is the founder and President/CEO of edBridge Partners, a collaborative consultancy serving K-12 and higher education. She sets the direction for the firm and is deeply involved in all client engagements.
Prior to founding edBridge Partners, Christen launched and led the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, transforming the organization’s advocacy and policy agenda and establishing the Center as trusted resource for research, data and information for educators and policymakers. She greatly increased the impact of the Center’s work, deepened engagement of the organization’s constituencies, influenced policymakers, and directed the Center’s strategic marketing and communications efforts, including development of the Advocacy & Policy Center website, press events, policy roundtables and legislative briefings, social media strategies, and outreach efforts.
The Center’s mission was to improve college readiness, access, affordability and completion, particularly among under-served students. She established a strategic approach that leveraged the organization’s strengths to build the advocacy unit’s output from a few reports into a cohesive set of high impact initiatives backed by research, connecting policy to practice and supported by national advocacy campaigns. Working closely with an Advisory Board of 17 distinguished educators, she and her team launched 20 high impact initiatives to engage the College Board’s 6,000 institutional members behind a progressive change agenda.
Christen joined the College Board’s Research & Development Unit in 2005 as a strategic information analyst and quickly rose to become vice president and executive director of the new Advocacy & Policy Center. Prior to the College Board, she led the launch and initial pilot test of a new technology service designed to bring greater efficiency and reach to the consumer research programs of Fortune 500 companies. FocusVision Network is now the leading global provider of live video transmission, analysis and archive solutions for the qualitative market research industry. Earlier in her career, she was a senior product manager with Canada Dry and Unilever, the global consumer products company, where she was responsible for the marketing, research, and sales success of three of the company’s brands.
Christen earned her B.A. in communications at UCLA and an M.A. in applied psychology at Fairfield University Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, where she currently serves on the Advisory Board.