Kristen Palson

Vice President, Innovation and Custom Learning Solutions Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership

Headshot photo of Kristen Palson

Kristen Palson works to innovatively combine the interplay of ideas and concepts for a wide range of audiences creating a vision for on-ground, fully virtual and hybrid solutions. Leading teams to execute that vision she demonstrates a high level of strategic and technical competence allowing her to apply those skills to scale with creative vision and innovative process change. 

As part of the Institute Senior Leadership team, she supports revenue generation with strategic input to the evolution of the Institute’s vision, mission, processes and as the thought leader in digital strategy across a number of key stakeholder groups. Kristen does this while balancing the considerations of partnerships leveraged for growth and efficiencies in leading the operational resources needed to achieve desired results.

Throughout her career, Kristen has built and managed high performance teams. Through her leadership for the Institute, she fosters the exploration of innovative ways to deliver learning experiences while balancing the strategic needs of the client, Institute resources and scalable growth. She and her team partner with leading-edge subject matter experts creating state-of-the-art delivery for innovative virtual experiences. Kristen has created standards aligned with the best practices in adult learning to prepare faculty and develop programs rich with engaged learner-centered design that is focused on actionable outcomes, appropriate assessments and accessibility. Kristen’s unique background in theater allows her to lend her creative skills and energy to all that she supports and leads at the Institute.

Prior to joining the Institute, Kristen joined Simmons University in October 2012 where she held the position of Associate Vice President of Simmons Online helping build the national online presence for University graduate programs. Prior to joining Simmons, she was the Director of Blended Learning at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. 

Kristen has her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Musical Theater and Directing from The Boston Conservatory.  She loves the stage and is especially passionate about children’s theater and all the incredible life long lessons that can be taught through the arts.  Kristen resides in the Boston area and is a proud single mother by choice raising her incredible daughter with the help of her amazing village of family and friends.