Kei Eriksen

Kei Eriksen
Senior Program Manager

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Kei was raised and educated in Japan, where she obtained her B.A. in Humanities. She applied her fondness for the liberal arts to her work at an adult education institute in Yokohama, where she designed and implemented language study programs with international instructors for a mostly Japanese audience. As she became increasingly aware that many of the program’s instructors did not have sufficient access to resources in Japanese society, Kei first discovered her interest in and talent for advocacy – particularly when it comes to social inequality.

She quickly realized that in order to create wide-reaching programs capable of deepening personal connections, she would need to further her education and career overseas. She soon relocated to the U.S. and in 2009 received her M.A. in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Vermont’s lush surroundings sparked in Kei a new appreciation for the natural environment. From there, she headed west to Seattle, which offered the ideal blend of natural and urban assets. She applied her expertise at several local community colleges, facilitating student leadership programs, developing various exchange programs and advising international students. These efforts allowed her to focus on her top priority: guiding each individual with acceptance and trust.

Influenced by her artistic mother and motivated by a desire to live a simpler life, Kei spends leisure time hand-crafting small items of beauty. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Heath, and their young daughter, Mei, who ends each meal with a traditional Japanese gochisosama bow to thank the earth for providing food for her family.

As a Senior Program Manager, Kei has administered many of iLEAP’s Japan focused programs. Her current focus is managing the TOMODACHI-Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership program and the occasional special program for Japanese partners.