Kirsten Laursen Muth
Chief Executive Officer
Kirsten is JLI’s Chief Executive Officer. Kirsten’s previous positions include Special Advisor for Leadership Development and Senior Director for International Programs at Episcopal Relief & Development; Deputy Director of Programs at Church World Service; and Deputy Director of Training and Communication Education at Helen Keller International. She has collaborated with multiple UN agencies and has worked with government, non-profit, education, and faith organizations in more than 40 countries. Kirsten holds a Bachelor of Science, Foreign Service from Georgetown University, a Master’s Degree in Social Anthropology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has also studied textile design at Parson’s School of Design and the School of Visual Arts, and design fabrics. She and her spouse, Mike, live in upstate New York in an antique house with three pets and numerous wild visitors.
Director of Research
Olivia Wilkinson is a qualitative researcher with expertise in religion, secularism, and international humanitarian action and development. She completed her PhD from Trinity College Dublin on secular humanitarian organizations’ interactions with local religion following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. She has been published in academic journals and written NGO reports and policy briefs. Her research has covered gender mainstreaming, education in emergencies, humanitarian principles, ethical research standards, refugee response, and most recently localization of humanitarian action.
She has been a Visiting Scholar at Columbia and the University of the Philippines Diliman, and received her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the University of Cambridge and Universite catholique de Louvain respectively.