Kristen Shannon
Program Officer, Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, IREX

Kristen_ShannonKristen is a program officer for alumni engagement for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. In this role, Kristen is responsible for curating strategic opportunities to engage the ever-growing Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni network.

Prior to IREX, Kristen served as the program manager of the NEA Foundation’s Global Learning Fellowship – a year-long professional development program designed to support American public-school educators develop the necessary knowledge and skills to prepare students for 21st century global citizenship. In this role, Kristen co-authored a K-12 global competency curriculum book, aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals titled “12 Lessons to Open Classrooms and Minds to the World”. Under Kristen’s leadership, the NEA Foundation successfully developed an online open-application system, mentorship program, and a global education course for the Global Learning Fellowship. She also oversaw the successful design and implementation of the Global Learning Fellowship’s week-long international teacher field studies to Peru, China, and South Africa.

Kristen is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Sigma Iota Rho Honor Society for International Studies, and WCAPS: Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, and yPIE: Young Professionals in International Education. She has previous experience in exchange programs and international affairs through past roles at EF Education First, YFU: Youth for Understanding, and the IESC: International Executive Service Corps.

She is an alumna of American University’s School of International Service, where she completed her bachelor’s degree in international studies with foci in international development, public administration, and policy. Kristen also studied community development at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.