Staff: Lauren M. Cristella
It was Lauren's passion for active citizenship, strong public leadership and practical policy-making that led her to 39th and Walnut and the institute that shares her dedication. As the director of strategic initiatives at the Fels Institute of Government, Lauren is responsible for external affairs and alumni relations, basically ensuring that everyone knows about the good work accomplished by the students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Before joining Fels, Lauren spent five fun years at the National Constitution Center. During her tenure there, Lauren worked in the education department, where she first began to wish that people would celebrate Constitution Day (September 17th) without being legally obligated to do so. She later joined the Center's senior management team as the director of special projects for the CEO. In that position, Lauren led the team that created the Center's blog, Constitution Daily, and facilitated the creation and adoption of a new five- year strategic plan. Lauren was also a member of the Center's international team, which was responsible for the creation of the Being We the People exhibition and website, as well as a guide to voting in national elections for Afghan citizens, created in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme.
Lauren received her bachelor's degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where she majored in politics, and interned at the International Center for Terrorism Studies. She went on to receive her master's degree from the University of Essex in Colchester, England in Ethics, Politics and Public Policy.
Lauren, her husband Doug, and their dog, Utley, reside in South Philadelphia so they can easily feed their love of the Phillies, Flyers and good food.