The Backstory: Kristen Lucas, Senior Program Manager, ProInspire Fellowship and Alumni Engagement


We believe in the power of people. Any nonprofit organization — including ours — is made stronger by the constellation of individuals with unique perspectives, interests, and dreams. You know our title, and you know what we do to help achieve ProInspire’s mission. But who are we as individuals, and what do we do and think about in the spaces between work?
The Backstory is an occasional blog series to help you learn more about our staff. Here, we profile Kristen Lucas, ProInspire’s Senior Program Manager responsible for the ProInspire Fellowship and Alumni Engagement.

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

StrengthsFinder Top Strengths: Restorative, Empathy, Developer, Harmony, Individualization

Pre-ProInspire: Before joining ProInspire in July 2016, I worked at Teach For America for 10 years. I started as a Corps Member, teaching middle school spanish in Charlotte, NC, then joined as a staff member. Most recently, I managed training and support programs for Corps Members and staff around values- and identity-based leadership.  

Why ProInspire? It felt serendipitous that ProInspire was hiring for this role just after I moved to DC. I found the opportunity I was looking for to support individuals on their leadership journeys and help connect them to aligned opportunities. I enjoy working with a small, powerful team and building relationships across the sector.

What does your typical day look like?  In my role and with my dual responsibility for program and alumni, every day is different. Some days I’m leading a training for our ProInspire Fellows. Other days I’m planning and thinking about what our programming could be, or how our selection process should evolve, or which alumni activities would be most impactful. It’s a healthy mix of big picture and detail orientation, and a balance between planning and execution.

Deep Thoughts
What drew you to the social sector? I have always been known for taking care of others. It’s in my DNA. I had a number of experiences up to and through college where I realized that I wanted to use my time and energy to make an impact for others.

What values define you? My top values would have to include: responsibility, empathy, interconnectedness, community, and adventure. 

What leader do you admire? I can’t think of one individual, but thinking back on leaders I’ve met with from various movements, the people who inspire and motivate me are the foot soldiers — the ones you wouldn’t recognize walking down the street as leaders with a capital “L,” but who are nonetheless doing amazing things and driving real change. 

Lightning Round
When you’re not working to fulfill ProInspire’s mission, we can find you…at a farmers market. I work with a couple of vendors to help them sell their goods and produce.

Morning drink: Coffee, with a little bit of almond milk and sugar

Publication I read every day: Email lists related to the food and food justice world

First job: Dance teacher

First concert: Phil Collins or Genesis, in Pittsburgh. I’ve been to many Phil Collins concerts, actually.

Urban area or rural countryside: Urban area, with space for a garden

Next on your playlist: The Head and the Heart

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