Kristina Ishmael

Senior Research Fellow, Teaching, Learning, & Tech Program

Kristina Ishmael is an educator, learner, advocate, and agent of change. After her work in the classroom, along with the state and federal level, she found herself working on education policy around instructional materials in the perfect culmination of her commitment to removing roadblocks for resource access, developing inclusive and representative materials, and providing professional learning for educators.

Ishmael is an educational consultant with Ishmael Consulting, LLC. In this role, she supports educators, school systems, nonprofits, civil rights organizations, and other entities as they navigate the learning environments of today. She brings her strong facilitation skills, experience leading a national initiative, organizational prowess, and energy into every project. Kristina is passionate about changing teaching and learning to provide more equitable access and opportunities to all learners.

Previously, Ishmael served as the Director of Primary and Secondary Education at Open Education Global where she led the advancement of open education programs and services for K-12 members. During her tenure, she facilitated a variety of professional learning, developed a strategy for recruiting primary and secondary educators through an individual membership model, and served as OEG’s lead for all diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) internal efforts.

Before OEG, Ishmael was the senior project manager of the Teaching, Learning, & Tech team as part of the Education Policy program at New America where she led and developed the OER portfolio to support educators using OER across the U.S. after leading the #GoOpen project as the K-12 Open Education fellow at the Office of Educational Technology. She continues her work at New America as a senior research fellow where she advises the portfolio at the intersection of open education, digital equity, and culturally-responsive education.

Prior to her work at the U.S. Department of Education, she was 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, Kristina was an early childhood and elementary teacher of emerging bilingual students in Omaha, Nebraska.

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 two Bachelors 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.