“The circumstances of a child’s birth and the zip code where they grow up should not predict the trajectory of their life. But they do–we have the data. It will take all of us working together to change the odds for our rural young people and make sure they can pursue their dreams and succeed.”
Kasi Allen joined the Foundation in early 2017. After many years working in a variety of education-related roles—from teacher to evaluator and researcher, to professor and policy advocate—she brought her skills to rural philanthropy and The Ford Family Foundation. As the founder and director of the Foundation’s Learning and Knowledge team, Kasi has fostered an organization-wide culture of learning since arriving in Roseburg. She believes we are truly better together and sees synergy as a powerful tool for advancing strategy.
Kasi’s passion for rural started in the mountains of Northern California and Southern Oregon. She spent her K-12 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, but moved to Oregon more than 30 years ago, where she has family ties dating back to the 1800s. Her years in the classroom have given her a teacher’s heart that is reflected in how she engages others. Her years as a program evaluator studying the National Science Foundation’s education investments took her from Alaska to Appalachia and taught her a lot about the diversity of rural.
Anyone who knows Kasi well also knows her love of mathematics, joy in facilitation, and eye for equity. She speaks enthusiastically about using data for visualization and storytelling as well as the power of community building to achieve the future that rural residents want to see.
Kasi holds a Ph.D. degree in Educational Policy and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and its History, both from Stanford University.
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