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Kroc School Welcomes New Assistant Dean of Marketing and Advancement, Krista Kokjohn-Poehler

Monday, February 4, 2019

Krista Kokjohn-PoehlerKrista Kokjohn-Poehler
begin quoteThe Kroc School and I were an obvious match because of the school’s desire for a creative and entrepreneurial relationship builder and my past experience.

In January 2019, Krista Kokjohn-Poehler joined the Kroc School as the Assistant Dean for Marketing and Advancement, a role that will help the Kroc School attract even more qualified students from around the world, and further support them in their journeys to shape more peaceful and just societies.

To help the USD community get to know her better, Krista answered the following questions about her career and life, and the path that led her to the Kroc School.

How would you describe yourself, personally and professionally?

I exist to unleash the potential of others. I believe everybody has an invisible cape and I enjoy spending my time accelerating people’s journey in identifying it and put it on.

What are the highlights of your career that led you to the Kroc School?

I have been fortunate that my career opportunities have enabled me to fully embody my mission to partner with other inspired social innovators to shift thinking and change the world.

Krista Kokjohn-Poehler with Kroc School students after her guest lecture in a Social Entrepreneurship class, October 2017.

Most recently I was a Director of Strategy & Partnerships with GOOD, a global media brand and social impact consultancy that helps people and organizations be forces for good. GOOD creates programs, media and activations that engage audiences and drive meaningful impact. I lead key account relationships and social innovation strategy design for projects with YouTube, AARP, Dick’s Sporting Goods, AT&T, Nike, 100Kin10, Pearson (Project Literacy) and more.

Prior to GOOD, I was the Chief Girl Experience Officer for Girl Scouts of the USA. While leading the Girl Experience team there, we developed the strategic vision for the next five years, took the cookie sale digital and rebranded it as their Social Entrepreneurship program. I also co-led efforts to re-engage our commitment to the outdoors, culminating in a National Parks Service partnership and a campout at the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama for 50 Girl Scouts. While at Girl Scouts I helped secure over $10 million in funding to help build the vision we created and was part of the team that crafted the new “spirited sidekick” brand voice that changed our tone and every word written to internal and external audiences.

At the Nike Foundation, I traveled the world designing and building a holistic learning system that helps international development professionals, government ministers, and donors include girls in large-scale initiatives. Before joining the Nike Foundation, I co-founded Becky Bones LLC in 2007, an eco-fashion brand for tween girls that posted more than $5 million in sales over three years. I created the company's hybrid business model in which Becky Bones donated 25 percent of its after-tax profits to environmental causes through a grant program aimed at girls.

I began my career with the WNBA in broadcasting and coached women's basketball at Colorado State University and San Diego State University. I hold a bachelor's degree from the University of California, San Diego, an MBA from the University of Oregon and a certificate in Sustainable Business Practices from UCSD Extension.  

The Kroc School and I were an obvious match because of the school’s desire for a creative and entrepreneurial relationship builder and my past experience.

What are you most looking forward to about your new role as the Kroc School's Assistant Dean?

The amazing people that I will be surrounded by. I thrive in environments robust with imagining grand ideas and strategizing how we can make them happen. Dean Márquez won me over by offering a challenge of achieving what others believe is impossible coupled with a diverse team of dreamers we might collaborate with.

What do you hope to accomplish in your first year with the Kroc School?

The team and I will focus on crystallizing how we talk about what the Kroc School is currently doing and the long-term strategic vision. We will establish how we can best serve the building of the long term strategic vision through our marketing and advancement efforts and then begin to execute on that strategy.   

While the exact KPIs are yet to be determined, we are excited to:

  • Enhance our reputation and visibility
  • Offer donors whose chosen legacy aligns with our vision and the opportunity to build groundbreaking peace learning initiatives with us
  • Engage an even larger pool of potential students than the team is reaching this year through the recruitment process
  • Map and improve where relevant the “customer journey” for prospective students, donors, and marketing partners
  • Establish systems that allow us to do all of the above in a more seamless manner

How do you like to spend your time when you're not working?

Swimming laps, on a zip line, hiking, traveling to new places, playing anything, on a paddleboard, dancing, around a fire pit with friends and family, and being amazed by people’s insights and great ideas.  

Anything else you'd like to share with the peacebuilding community?

I am deeply honored and humbled to get to work with you all, and one reason I am here is to learn from all of you (as I don’t have personal experience in on-the-ground peacebuilding).


Kevin Dobyns
(619) 260-7618

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies


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