About Kristin

Kristin Hayden was selected as an Ashoka Fellow, “as a leading social entrepreneur who we recognize to have innovative solutions and the potential to change patterns across society.” Her passion for cross-cultural understanding began with her one-year study abroad experience as a Rotary exchange student in South Africa at age fifteen. That experience changed her life and set her on a committed path to explore the world, challenge injustices and pursue transformational learning opportunities for herself and others. Towards the end of the Cold War, Kristin began studying the Russian language in college and then lived in Moscow right before the break-up of the Soviet Union. She graduated with honors and a triple major in Soviet Area Studies, Russian Language and International Relations at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.

Kristin then became the International Projects Director for Seattle-based, international events/consulting company called Bob Walsh Enterprises, Inc., where she directed the operations of the Moscow and Tbilisi (Georgia, ex-USSR) offices. Kristin spent her twenties living and working abroad in Moscow, Paris, London and Tbilisi, where she developed a passion for global thinking, international project management experience and a keen appreciation for understanding other cultures.

At the age of 30, Kristin moved back to the USA and Seattle and decided that after years of living abroad, it was time begin her life’s work by combining her passion for international understanding and commitment to social justice and access to opportunities. In 2002, she founded OneWorld Now!, the global leadership program for underserved youth. After two years, OneWorld Now! was recognized as “one of the nation’s most innovative after school programs” by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.  In 2006, Kristin was honored by the Puget Sound Business Journal in their annual “40 under 40” awards (40 top business leaders under the age of 40).   Kristin intends to create a national model for international education and promote the importance of study abroad for all!

E-mail Kristin here.

Note: The banner photo of Kristin is by Rick Smolan.



  1. Love the site

  2. As a social justice believer and activist, I do believe, creativity and passion that your work is phenomenal. I am myself originally from Africa so I do know how positively the exposure to other cultures, education and information can affect young old, rich or poor people.

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