Our Team

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Marina Kim Co-Founder and Executive Director

Marina’s work in social entrepreneurship dates back over 15 years. She co-founded and leads Ashoka U, which works with colleges and universities to embed social innovation as an educational focus and a strategic approach to aligning the university’s culture, programs and operations. To date, Ashoka U has worked with over 400 institutions globally. Marina’s writing on institutional change and higher education innovation has been featured in Forbes.com, SSIR.org, and the Diversity & Democracy Journal, and Ashoka U has been featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Huffington Post and The New York Times. Marina was named in the Forbes 30 under 30 for Social Entrepreneurship, received the post-graduate Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy from Stanford, and is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Northampton. Marina holds a BA in International Relations from Stanford University.

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Beeta Ansari COO

Beeta is Ashoka U’s COO. In this role, Beeta leads Ashoka U’s strategic planning, staffing, budgeting and organizational design. In addition to her responsibilities as COO, Beeta also serves as Director of the Ashoka U Exchange, a global convening for social entrepreneurship education and Director of the Ashoka U Commons, an online learning platform that supports university leaders to advance social innovation offerings on their campus. Beeta has been with the Ashoka U team since 2009. Previously, Beeta worked as a Procurement Manager at a high-growth tech startup and tutored students at KIPP Academy in Houston. Beeta graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BS in Economics

Michelle King Associate Director, Exchange

Michelle is Associate Director of the Exchange, Ashoka U’s annual global convening of university faculty, staff, students, and social entrepreneurs. Prior to taking this role, Michelle was selected as an Education Pioneer Fellow and worked closely with Murmuration, a New York City based non-profit whose mission is focused on equity in education to close the achievement gap for students in grades K-12. During her earlier experiences, Michelle spent several years as a management consultant in the public sector, focusing on organizational strategy, change management, and communications and completed internships in several governmental organizations, including the U.S. Congress, the White House, and INTERPOL. While in undergrad, Michelle worked closely with the women’s center as a peer advocate to support survivors of abuse and assault, creating the campus’s first bystander awareness organization. Through her community engagement and professional experience, she brings a deep understanding of the education, public, and private sector. Michelle holds a BS in Political Science/International Relations from Old Dominion University.

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Araseli Lara Exchange Manager

Araseli joins as our new Exchange Manager. In this role, Araseli will lead the logistics, communications, and community building efforts needed to create a dynamic convening with the goal of providing a platform for innovative leaders to continue working towards the transformation of the higher education sector. Araseli first arrived to Ashoka U as an intern for the 2019 Exchange and supported various marketing and communications efforts. As a recent graduate from American University, Araseli is excited start this new journey and to help strengthen the connection between Ashoka U and the voices and needs of students. With a degree in International Affairs and concentrations in Business Administration and International Development, Araseli is passionate about bridging social innovation, business, and changemaking to help build a more just world.

 

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Charmaine Lyn Director, Changemaker Education, Ashoka Canada

Charmaine works closely with Canada’s seven designated Changemaker campuses and their change leaders to deepen and accelerate field-level collaboration and transformation in Canadian post-secondary. In this role, Charmaine is leading Ashoka Canada’s targeted efforts to build upon growing momentum for social impact work in Canadian higher ed by identifying and accompanying prospective Canadian campuses through the designation process. Charmaine draws from over 15 years’ experience advancing equity, diversity, social accountability, and decolonization as drivers of post-secondary institutional change. Prior to joining Ashoka, Charmaine was Senior Director of the Office of Community Engagement at Concordia University in Montreal, where she also served as a Special Advisor to the Provost on Indigenous Directions, and stewarded the launch of the SHIFT Centre for Social Transformation. Charmaine also previously directed recruitment and admissions to McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Law. Born in Jamaica and raised in Tio’ tia:ke (Montreal), where she currently resides, Charmaine is a first-generation university attendee and lawyer by training. She holds a BA in English Literature and BCL (Civil Law) and LL.B. (common law) degrees from McGill University. She speaks English and French.