Junior Program Officer
Contact Katie: ksafford(at)gkinitiative(dot)org
Katie joined GKI in 2017 as a Junior Program Officer. In this role, she supports a diverse portfolio of work within GKI’s Systems Research & Evaluation and Network Facilitation & Design programs. Her experience in applied research, engineering, and international development brings a unique perspective to the complex challenges GKI seeks to solve. Katie leverages this experience by employing systems tools to better analyze those challenges, and to envision innovative solutions. Additionally, Katie supports the design of highly facilitated events that fuel co-creation and collaborative innovation among diverse stakeholder groups.
Katie has a keen interest in travel and learning about new cultures. Before joining the GKI team, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a rural village of Southwestern Uganda. While in Uganda, she developed a comprehensive training on manufacturing biomass charcoal briquettes made from food and agricultural waste to combat deforestation. Katie earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in environmental engineering from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. Her undergraduate and graduate research focused on the development and analysis of water filters capable of removing biological and chemical (e.g., pesticides) contaminants from source water. In her free time, Katie enjoys spending time on the beach in her home town of Charleston, S.C.