Mindful Philanthropy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing high-impact funding of mental health, addiction, and community well-being initiatives, has added public health and environmental expert Kristen Ward to its leadership team. As Director of Programs and Knowledge, Kristen will help to lead the organization's strategy, knowledge management, and program development, identification, and evaluation.
Kristen joins Mindful Philanthropy after having served as a Social Impact Fellow at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) at the University of Pennsylvania, a Mindful Philanthropy knowledge partner. Through her role at CHIP and others in international development, she has built deep expertise in public health and social issues such as behavioral and mental health, health systems, water and sanitation, and women's empowerment.
"More than any time in recent history, there is a tremendous need for increased investment in mental health and addiction services in America today," said Barbara Ricci, executive director at Mindful Philanthropy. "We have worked closely with Kristen over the last two years as she played an integral role in co-founding Mindful Philanthropy. We are excited to welcome her in an expanded full-time capacity. I am confident that her expertise and passion for high-impact social investing will continue to help us broaden our reach and ability to address these needs on a national scale."
Kristen currently plays a vital role in two of Mindful Philanthropy's Cornerstone Projects, "Service Corps" and "Thriving in Schools." The Service Corps initiative aims to deploy low-intensity, evidence-based, non-clinical psychological approaches in local communities, and the Thriving in Schools initiative invests in integrated mental health education, resources, and capacity building in K-12 schools, enabling students to build life skills and resilience.
Kristen first joined CHIP in August 2018 to lead the development of Health in Mind, the organization's guidance on how philanthropy can address mental health and addiction. She also served as a project manager for Covid-19 Pandemic: Supporting Mental Health, an online resource center that examines how donors can support communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Kristen earned her BA in Politics and African Studies from Princeton University and Master of Public Health from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to pursuing her MPH, Kristen developed a passion for high-impact social investment through her work developing health and environment related corporate social responsibility strategies and programs in Africa.