Christina Kuo is Grassroots Solutions newest Principal
After six years as a Senior Strategist, Christina Kuo is starting a new chapter as a Principal at Grassroots Solutions. Christina will continue to lead both strategy and evaluation projects, bringing her decades of experience in advocacy, philanthropy and social change to her work with both US and International clients.
How do you approach leadership and co-learning with clients and the Grassroots Solutions team?
I continue to be just as excited now as I was when I first started to help our clients achieve their goals of building healthy, equitable communities. I am also looking forward to being part of the leadership team that creates opportunities for our brilliant team members to bring their experience, curiosity, and creativity to how we operate as a firm and to our client work. I hope to bring an “always be learning” mindset and collaborative approach to client projects and work with my colleagues. The projects I’ve felt the most satisfied with are the ones where both the client and I have come out of it learning something new.
What about your work are you looking forward to the most in 2023?
I am really energized by two areas of work that I started in 2022. One is my work on gender and reproductive justice issues. I am continuing work with the Collaborative for Gender and Reproductive Equity and Gender Equity Fund as their learning and evaluation partner. In the post-Roe world we are in, the work that they support in states is going to be so important. In addition, I will continue to support the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Women’s Collective to provide support and training to potential and current Asian American, Native Hawai’ian, and Pacific Islander female political leaders and candidates.
The other area I am excited about is an evaluation of a successful revenue raising ballot campaign. The evaluation of this campaign has contributed to our thinking as a firm about how best to evaluate campaigns. This is something we’ve been noodling on as a firm a while and the approach/framework we are thinking about really leans on our experience as campaign managers, advisors, and trainers. More on this to come soon!
What are some opportunities you see in 2023 for engagement strategy and/or evaluation?
On the engagement strategy side, I see exciting opportunities for organizations to engage newly elected progressive state policymakers (legislators, executive branch officers and agency heads). With the enactment of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act (2021) and the Inflation Reduction Act (2022), the implementation of these two massive federal laws is going to be moving to states and municipalities and really need the work of progressive organizations to ensure that the voices of communities are front and center as policies and regulations are being developed. Organizations should be thinking about how they bring three legs of a stool – government relations and lobbying, strategic communications, and member/constituency engagement and grassroots lobbying and organizing – together to build a comprehensive policy engagement strategy.
On the evaluation side, I think that over the past three or four years, we have seen an increase in funders supporting community organizing and narrative change efforts that center the needs of communities and people most impacted by injustice. I am looking forward to learning more about these strategies and the different methods and thinking that evaluators have developed to help funder clients understand the impact of their investments.
Anything fun you are personally looking forward to in 2023?
I’m looking forward to a few-weeks long international trip later this year. Also, I am mixing up my exercise routine this year to incorporate reformer Pilates. Lastly, I’d like to get back to enjoying cooking. I think the pandemic took the joy out of cooking for me for a bit, but I hope to change that in 2023.