Kristen Eddings: Emerging Leader 2013

October 30, 2013

Kristen Eddings, Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships at WGHA, was recognized by Seattle Met Magazine as the 2013 Emerging Leader. Seattle Met hosts the Light a Fire awards, which celebrate outstanding individuals and organizations in Seattle's nonprofit community.

Imagine. You’re sitting in front of 2,500 people, many of them twenty- and thirtysomethings in whom you’ve kindled the desire to make the planet a better place. To your left, one of the most influential women on earth: Melinda Gates.

Last July, Kristen Eddings interviewed Gates at McCaw Hall. Washington Global Health Alliance’s director of communications and strategic partnerships since the organization’s inception six years ago, -=Eddings opted out of throwing softballs. The 29-year-old asked the matron saint of global health how she knows for sure when she travels the world that her hosts, given her celebrity and influence, give her an accurate picture of how things truly are in that country. 

The tension in the room rose as the crowd swallowed hard, wondering whether Gates would take offense. Only the two women on stage seemed unfazed. Gates answered: I don’t.

Like WGHA, Kristen Eddings is a connector, mobilizing our state’s robust global health sector and uniting it with causes around the world. Her specialty: the under-40 crowd. Miss Washington 2006 and a top 10 finalist for Miss America 2007, Eddings envisioned Party for the Health of It, an event for 1,000 that takes on a different cause each year: diarrheal disease, tuberculosis in Haiti, mobile technology for pregnant women in Southeast Asia. This year’s proceeds go toward clean water and sanitation in Tanzania. Speaking of which, earlier this year Eddings led Sounder FC players and managers to Tanzania to stir in them the desire to participate in global health efforts.

For more information, please visit Light a Fire Awards 2013 or pick up a copy of the November issue of Seattle Met Magazine.