Employee Spotlight: A Q&A With HCM Senior Associate Cristen Moore

By Cristen Moore -

Cristen Moore is a talented policy professional committed to opening the doors of higher education for all of America’s students. At HCM, she is a senior associate supporting the firm’s postsecondary education work on behalf of clients such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Lumina Foundation’s Strategy Labs.

Why did you join HCM?

I wanted to be a part of the solution. Problem-solving entails bringing all the right people to the table. HCM does just that.

 What makes HCM special in your view?

 HCM works across state and party lines to ensure the student remains at the center of decision making. Our skill set is so diverse in our ability to advocate, convene and advance agendas for positive change.

What is something unique that you bring to your work with HCM? (I.e. background, experience, unique viewpoint)

 As a second-generation college graduate and African American, I have seen first-hand how higher education has changed the trajectory of my family. I understand the opportunities it provides and I want to assist all stakeholders who are aiming to create concrete pathways for all students.

What inspired you to dedicate your career to education policy?

 People of color are the most underserved population in education, and we have very little representation at the decision-making table. I want to be one of the many needed voices to advocate on our behalf.

What inspires you and why?

 I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams. For decades, people of color were subjected to an inferior education. Every day that I work towards equitable education, I provide a pathway forward for my community and the community as a whole.

Was there a time you personally saw your work affect positive change?

In our work, we have the privilege to work with Governors, university presidents, high- level staff, administrators and legislators. But my most rewarding experiences have taken place when a student shares with me how initiatives and policies we have assisted in implementing has positively impacted their lives.

What do you enjoy outside of work? 

 I enjoy learning about investing, trying restaurants highlighted on the tv show Diners, Drive-ins and dives, karaoke, supporting mentorship programs for kids and spending time with family and friends most notably my four nephews and puppy affectionately known as Twizzie.

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