Raj Chetty, John Friedman, and Nathaniel Hendren have announced the appointment of Kristen Watkins as the Chief Operating Officer of Opportunity Insights.
Watkins joins OI from J-PAL North America at MIT where she served as Policy Manager leading the Creating Moves to Opportunity project, developing strategies for taking evidence-based solutions to scale and working with governments and researchers to develop research partnerships. Prior to joining J-PAL, Kristen worked at Next Street, an economic development advisory firm that engaged across the small business ecosystem to create inclusive growth in underserved communities. She has also worked at Recology designing more sustainable waste systems in partnership with West Coast cities and counties.
As COO, Watkins will oversee Opportunity Insights’ next strategic growth phase and manage the day-to-day operations of the institute.
“We are delighted that Kristen is joining Opportunity Insights as our Chief Operating Officer,” said Raj Chetty, Director of Opportunity Insights. “Her excellent leadership skills and strong analytical background make Kristen a true asset to our organization. Our team is looking forward to working under her leadership as we analyze new data and create platforms for local stakeholders across the country to revive the America Dream.”
Watkins received a master’s in city planning degree as well as a bachelor’s degree in political science and urban planning from MIT. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Cambridge-based non-profit Food for Free and as co-chair of the Cambridge Recycling Advisory Committee.