Chrystina Russell

Exec Dir
Southern New Hampshire University

At Southern New Hampshire University, Chrystina Russell spearheads innovative initiatives to bring tertiary education and employment pathways to refugees and traditionally underserved learners. She's most passionate about building university programs in refugee camps and urban areas where students who normally would not access higher education use online and in-person learning to earn a Bachelor's degree from Southern New Hampshire University. Currently, Chrystina is leading an expansion of the program into 4 new countries in 2018 (Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, & Lebanon) as well as the launch of an assessment center in Rwanda to pilot lowering the delivery cost of Bachelor's degrees through a combination of training local talent and artificial intelligence. Previously, she was the Chief Academic Officer of Kepler, a blended learning university program based in Rwanda. The organization has two campuses opened and lead by Chrystina—one in the capital city of Kigali and the other in Kiziba refugee camp. Chrystina began her career as a bilingual special education teacher in the Bronx, where she became addicted to understanding educational challenges and using innovation and technology to find creative solutions in vulnerable communities.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.