Over the course of her career, Kirsten has been employed by and consulted for organizations in the public, private, and civil society sectors, across the US and internationally. Kirsten is passionate about ending exploitation and excels at identifying and cultivating effective organizational and collaborative practices for countering human trafficking—and sharing them with others. While a fulltime professor of communication at the University of Washington, Kirsten engaged in action-oriented research to counter human trafficking. For over 15 years she led international teams of experts from academia, government agencies, businesses, and nonprofits to coproduce practical knowledge and implement it. She created and taught courses on multisector collaboration, organizational communication, and technology in society, as well as on human trafficking. Several of her mentees now lead cross-sector collaborations for social change themselves.
As the CEO and Executive Director of BEST, Kirsten leverages her expertise to guide organizations’ leaders and equip them with tools to implement socially responsible strategies for halting human trafficking and ultimately preventing it. Kirsten is the author or editor of four books, including the award-winning Collaborating Against Human Trafficking: Cross-Sector Challenges and Practices. She earned her PhD in Communication from the University of California San Diego.