Ken was raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, where he graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. In 1996 Ken completed a Ph.D. in political science at the Claremont Graduate University, Center for Politics and Economics, in Southern California. He specialized in public policy and international political economy, and his dissertation focused on the application of genetic algorithms and game theory to study the dynamics of cooperative behavior.
Ken has worked as an executive and management consultant for more than twenty years. In 2001 he left Alaska to join the Washington, DC office of BiosGroup, a consulting firm that applied the tools of complexity science to enable strategic innovation for business, government and military clients. BiosGroup was a joint venture of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and MacArthur Fellow Stuart Kauffman, and employed over 100 Ph.D. data scientists, including two Nobel Prize winners.
In 2003 Ken returned to Alaska and made the transition to the nonprofit sector as the executive director of Alaska 20/20, a nonpartisan organization that produced the first-ever comprehensive social, economic and environmental report card for the state. In 2006 he became the youngest state director in the history of the nation’s largest nonprofit: AARP, an almost US $2 billion social impact organization representing the health and financial interests of more than 40 million Americans 50+ and their families.
After 13 years leading the state office and working on national initiatives at AARP, in 2019 Ken returned to private practice as the principal and owner of Kizuna LLC (formerly 907 Media LLC). He continues to pursue his passion for the work of mission-focused nonprofits as an interim executive and management consultant.
Ken has served as an airborne infantryman in the Alaska Army National Guard, a licensed infant foster care provider, chair of the board of the Alaska E-Health Network, and on various public policy boards, commissions and task forces. He holds numerous professional and technical certifications, including: