An introduction to Chris Sturgis
Christine Sturgis, founder of MetisNet, brings a breadth of professional and personal experience that has given her first-hand insight into how policies and programs work in the world of social change. She has been in the trenches at grassroots organizations, in capitol buildings with state agencies and in the national spotlight with large philanthropic foundations.
Born in Japan, Chris was raised in Cleveland and Denver. Her earliest experience understanding social change was as a 16-year-old at Manual High School, where she was a student leader during the early stages of the desegregation of Denver's schools in 1976. Testifying before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that year gave Chris direct knowledge of how individuals — even children and young adults — can take part in important change.
Over the course of seven years, Chris managed program efforts at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Omidyar Foundation. Prior to that, she directed initiatives at the MassJobs Council and the Greater Boston Rehabilitation Services. Since 1999, she has served as co-chair of the Youth Transition Funders Group, facilitating the collaborative efforts of 40 foundations all dedicated to improving outcomes for vulnerable youth.
Throughout her career, Chris has honed her natural ability to embrace the differing agendas and goals of people coming together for a common cause. Her philosophy is to listen first to those at the neighborhood level — the roots — then work slowly upward until she grasps all perspectives. She clears through organizational, bureaucratic, and political clutter to help foundations and donors clarify and achieve their goals.
Chris received her M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
When she's not working to better understand the dynamics of social change, Chris is usually taking pictures, as she has recently discovered her talents in this area. (See photo of tree featured throughout this site.) In fact, she has decided that in her next professional life, she will hang a shingle as a wedding photographer.