Kristen Palson serves as the COO of the Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership and the Executive Producer of the Simmons Leadership Conference. She brings an innovative mind-set and fresh perspective leading with strategic, operational vision to ensure success. As a member of the Institute’s leadership team, Kristen offers a unique talent for scalable, creative solutions that mobilize resources and achieve breakthrough results. She shares a passion for this work as an authentic executive leader with expertise in cultivating individuals and teams to achieve their full potential while fostering a culture of allyship and inclusion.
Kristen also serves as the Institute’s head of Product Development where she helps clients across a wide range of industries and fields create customized experiences and learning journeys that meet their unique organizational goals. She is an expert in the creation of state-of-the-art programming in a choice of modalities: in-person, on-site, online – or blend of all three. She is passionate about learner-centered content delivery with actionable outcomes, appropriate assessments, and accessibility. Her unique background in theater infuses the design and delivery of every program with a high degree of creativity, energy, and hands-on engagement.
Kristen brings over 15 years of experience in strategic development, operational planning, and high-performance talent management to the Institute’s Senior Leadership team. She spearheads the Institute’s ongoing exploration of technology-enhanced learning solutions balancing client needs, Institute resources, and scalable growth.
Kristen loves the stage and is especially passionate about children’s theater and all the incredible lifelong lessons that can be taught through the arts. She resides in the Boston area and is a proud single mother by choice raising her incredible daughter with the help of her amazing village of family and friends.
Before joining the Institute, Kristen held the position of Associate Vice President of Simmons Online, where she helped build a robust virtual alternative for the University’s graduate programs. Prior to joining Simmons, she was the Director of Blended Learning at Babson College in Wellesley, MA.