Gina Karsten
Project Coordinator

Gina is a Project Coordinator for the Effective Organizations and Investments team. Here she provides logistical support in strategic decisionmaking to government agencies, nonprofits and foundations, informed by policy, practice and research.

Gina’s personal experience as an immigrant and first-generation college student drives her desire to create equitable educational experiences for all students. Prior to joining Education First, Gina worked closely with high school students as an academic mentor for a college access program in North Chicago and as an Admissions Associate for an Independent School in New Jersey. Gina’s breadth of personal and professional experience in education spaces offers valuable insight and perspective into the work she does with Education First.

Gina has a B.A. in Psychology and a Minor in Educational Studies from Bates College. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy from Vanderbilt University. Outside of work Gina enjoys rock climbing, reading and cooking new recipes. She resides in Nashville, TN with her husband, James.

Gina's expertise

  • College- and Career-Ready Expectations
  • Pathways for Student Success
  • Research, Program Analysis & Program Strategy
  • Teaching and Learning Strategy

Top 3 Places Traveled

  • Patagonia, Chile
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Bucharest, Romania

Gina likes


  • Backpacking along the Appalachian Trail

  • Making homemade pizza