Kirsten Lodal is the CEO and Co-Founder of LIFT, which began as an idea during her sophomore year of college in 1998 and has become one of the foremost anti-poverty organizations in the country. Under Kirsten’s leadership, LIFT has created positive outcomes for more than 100,000 families and established itself as a national model for more effective and human-centered social services. Along the way, Kirsten has become a leading advocate for re-thinking and modernizing the design of America’s anti-poverty programs, spreading LIFT’s message from the White House and the Aspen Institute to the NBC Nightly News, the PBS Newshour and The New York Times.
Kirsten has received numerous honors for her work, chief among them the National Jefferson Award for Public Service, established in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as our nation’s “Nobel Prize for community and public service.” Most recently, Kirsten was awarded the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award for young Americans committed to public service. She was also recently named a 2015 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow. She is the Chairman of the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, a program working to restore childhood to children living in shelters, and she serves on the Board of Advisors of DC Greens, a non-profit focused on making healthy food more accessible to all children.
Kirsten graduated from Yale University in 2001 and completed the Executive Management Program at the Columbia Business School’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management in 2005. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Jeff Himmelman, and their three young daughters.