Carrie Ellett
Senior Associate

Carrie has held a variety of roles in both programming and operations in international and US based nonprofit organizations. With this background, she brings a unique perspective and the ability to see many sides of a challenge, project or call to action. She is deeply passionate about education and a skilled energetic facilitator who is particularly fond of active learning through structured activities.


She is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Kepler and is based in Kigali, Rwanda. Kepler is an innovative higher education program serving vulnerable students in East Africa who would otherwise struggle to or not be able to afford a university education. Carrie has led the operations team to strive for excellence and prepare for scale since 2015. She has also engaged staff in reducing the cost per student by more than 50% during that time through innovations and efficient use of resources. Additionally, she remains engaged in academics at Kepler and is passionate about the quality of the education students receive and their transition to employment upon graduation.


Prior to Kepler, Carrie was the inaugural Country Director for the Akilah Institute for Women in Bujumbura, Burundi. The Burundi site was opened under her direction in January 2014 and operated until the political crisis required the relocation of students to Rwanda in fall 2015. She also served as the Academic Director for Akilah in Rwanda.


Before beginning her work in East Africa, Carrie served as the National Program Director of Girls for a Change (GFC) for 7 years overseeing strategy and program implementation in 10 US cities, international expansion and GFC online programming. Her work at GFC included developing and delivering replicable training modules for adults and youth, designing and coordinating events and writing curriculum and implementing youth programming. Her outreach engaged more than 7,000 girls and 400 volunteers across the globe in social change. 


Carrie graduated from the University of San Francisco in May 2012 with an MA in International and Multicultural Education with an emphasis in Human Rights Education. She was a 2011-12 AAUW Career Development Grant Recipient, served as a founding member of the Program Advisory Board for The Respect Institute and was selected for and completed the Women Leaders for the World program at Santa Clara University in Summer 2008.