kristin oberdorf, principal at kotter


Kristin Oberdorf


Kristin serves as a principal at Kotter, working with client organizations to accelerate the implementation of critical business strategies. She brings over five years of designing and facilitating rapid cycle projects that drive systemic transformation through worker engagement, targeted experimentation, and iterative learning. She is a skilled facilitator and coach with extensive experience moving cross-level teams to collaborative, results-oriented action. Her work has been driven by a commitment to social impact, leveraging private-public partnerships
to drive progress in various sectors, including education, healthcare, government performance, and homelessness in the United States and around the world. Kristin received a dual Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University in International Relations and Social Policy, and a Master’s Degree in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Kristin is based out of Chicago, IL.

Why did you decide to work at Kotter?

I was initially drawn to Kotter for its skill and knowledge in achieving long-term, sustainable
change at scale. I became eager to join when I started to learn more about the mission of the
organization and how deeply the Kotter team is committed to sharing their skills with the
world. Achieving change can be hard, confusing, and even frustrating for some. But for the
Kotter team, I could sense a passion and even fun that they brought to the work, and I was
thrilled to become a part of that.

What challenges do you most enjoy helping your clients solve?

I most enjoy helping front-line workers achieve the seemingly impossible using only their own
ideas, positive attitude, and commitment to a common goal. When all levels of an organization
are given permission to innovate and are motivated to act, I believe anything is possible.

If you weren’t working at Kotter, what would you be doing instead?

I love animals and deep down I hope that my next career will be running some sort of animal
adoption or rescue organization.

What’s got you thinking right now?

How is making transformative change happen different and also similar in the public and
private sectors? I’m interested in what the two sides can learn from each other and how we can
facilitate that exchange and partnership. Perhaps leveraging the efficiency and agility of the
private sector with the service oriented mission and sheer scale of the public sector could help
drive meaningful progress in solving the critical societal issues of our time.

Share something about you that would most surprise people.

I served in the Peace Corps in Benin, a francophone country in West Africa. I taught secondary
school English and my favorite part of my service was organizing a weekly Geography Club for
my students to start learning about how much of the world there is to see and explore!