Gina Karsten

Gina Karsten is an Associate on the Effective Organizations and Investments Team, where she conducts research and analysis to inform evidence-based strategies that support government agencies, nonprofits and foundations in strategic decision-making.

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 earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a Minor in Educational Studies from Bates College and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Vanderbilt University. Outside of work, Gina enjoys rock climbing, reading and cooking new recipes. She resides in Chicago 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