By Roadtrip Nation

Kristina Ishmael


My road in life has taken me all over.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in business and mass communications from Arizona State University.
I moved to Omaha, Nebraska, and had my first interview for business in the private sector, during which I had a massive panic attack—my body was telling me that I was not where I needed to be.
I decided to pivot and found a post-baccalaureate program where I pursued early childhood education and elementary education.
After graduating, I worked as a classroom teacher and then transitioned to the state level, where I worked as a state ed tech director for the state of Nebraska.
In 2016, I moved to Washington D.C. to work at the federal level as a fellow, supporting states and school districts as they moved away from traditional materials and into open education resources.
I spent a little bit of time working in the nonprofit sector but knew I wanted to go back into the administration.
In 2021, I rejoined the U.S. Department of Education and am currently leading the Office of Education Technology.
Keep following my journey


High School
Business and Mass Communications
Arizona State University
Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education
Peru State College
Reading and ESL
Concordia University, Nebraska
Instructional Technology
Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology


Deputy Director, Office of Ed Tech

I develop national EdTech policy that enables everywhere, all-the-time learning and supports digital equity.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Accomplishing Goals

Day to Day

I spend a lot of time in meetings speaking with all of my colleagues about upcoming policy. I also manage a team of seven people, so I spend time checking in on them and their projects. I make connections with people throughout the field of education. I speak with educators and ed tech developers to stay grounded in what's happening throughout the field in order to better inform the policy that we make.


Challenges I Overcame

Mental Health Issues