Kristen Gates joined ODA in 2022. As Chief Advancement Officer, Kristen leads ODA’s fundraising, development, marketing, and communication functions to support year-round programming and family engagement by the Programming Team.
Kristen was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from Ohio State with a B.A. in International Development and Spanish. Following college, Kristen served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer before heading west to pursue a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Policy from UCLA. Kristen moved back to Cleveland in 2020 with her husband and two kids and looks forward to introducing them all to the joys and sorrows of being a Cleveland sports fan.
Kristen is passionate about social justice and ensuring everyone has access to the resources they need to establish stability and thrive irrespective of the zip code in which they were born. Kristen spent over a decade working in Los Angeles in the nonprofit sector. She has overseen direct service provision, partnership development and management, and fundraising in the following areas: early childhood development, K-12 public education, college access, out-of-school time, gang prevention, workforce development, food access, holistic case management, financial empowerment, place-based initiatives (e.g., Promise Neighborhoods and Promise Zones), and planning efforts that champion equitable community development.