Kristina Ishmael

Senior Project Manager, Teaching, Learning, and Tech program

Kristina Ishmael is senior project manager of the Teaching, Learning, and Tech program in New America's Education Policy program.

Ishmael is an educator, learner, thought leader, advocate, and agent of change. After her work in the classroom and at the state department of education, she found herself in the nation’s capital working on education policy around instructional materials in the perfect culmination of her commitment to removing roadblocks for student access to resources and providing professional learning for educators.

Ishmael currently serves as the senior project manager of the Learning Technologies Project for the Education Policy program at New America. This role allows her to directly support states, districts, and educators rethinking the role of instructional materials to create deeper learning opportunities for students. She brings her strong facilitation skills, experience leading a national initiative, and energy into every project. Ishmael is passionate about changing teaching and learning to provide more equitable access and opportunities to all learners.

Before joining New America, Ishmael was the K-12 Open Education Fellow at the Office of Educational Technology where she developed and grew the #GoOpen movement. Prior to her work at the U.S. Department of Education, she worked as the digital learning specialist for the Nebraska Department of Education where she led professional learning and advocated for school librarians. This experience granted her a unique perspective on leveraging educational technology in urban, suburban, and rural school systems. Before her role with the state, Ishmael was a teacher to high risk elementary ELL students in Omaha, Neb.

Ishmael holds a master of arts in learning technologies from Pepperdine University, in addition to a master of science in reading and English as a second language from Concordia University of Nebraska. She earned a bachelor of arts in early childhood education and elementary education from Peru State College, as well as a bachelor of interdisciplinary studies in business and mass communications from Arizona State University.