About Barra


Kristina L. Wahl, President

Ms. Wahl joined The Barra Foundation as a Program Officer in 2010 and became President in 2013. Prior to joining Barra, she worked at The Pew Charitable Trusts as a Senior Associate and then as a Program Officer. She also served as Managing Director of Marketing and Development at the Transitional Work Corporation, which at one time was the largest urban transitional jobs program in the country. After graduating from La Salle University, Kristina joined the Vincentian Service Corps and served as a volunteer at Covenant House in New York City. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Currently, Kristina serves on the Boards of Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia and the Center for Health Care Strategies.  She has served on the Board of Trustees at La Salle University, Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School and La Salle Academy, an elementary school for at-risk youth located in North Philadelphia.  She has been a member of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Campaign Cabinet and Villanova University’s Department of Public Administration Advisory Board.  Kristina grew up in Ambler, PA and feels a strong allegiance to the Greater Philadelphia region.

Kate Houstoun, Program Officer, Health and Human Services

Ms. Houstoun joined The Barra Foundation in July 2012 from the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia where she served as Managing Director. Previous to the Sustainable Business Network, Ms. Houstoun was a Deputy Director for The Doe Fund, a New York-based nonprofit organization that serves formerly incarcerated and homeless adults. After graduating from the University of Delaware, she worked for American Friends Service Committee in rural Mexico. Ms. Houstoun is a past fellow of Center for Progressive Leadership and Bryn Mawr College’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute. She is currently completing an EMPA for Public Service Leaders at NYU Wagner.

Kristi Poling, Program Officer, Arts & Culture and Education

In joining the foundation in 2012, Ms. Poling brought her experience with philanthropic organizations and non-profits as well as skills developed serving as an attorney for large nonprofits and government agencies.  Previously, she worked with Philagrafika, Visit Philadelphia, the Camden Redevelopment Agency and The Pew Charitable Trusts.  She received her undergraduate degree from Temple University and her law degree from the Rutgers University School of Law – Camden, where she was a recipient of the Eagleton Institute of Politics’ Governor’s Executive Fellowship. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day implementation of the Catalyst Fund, she serves as Chair of Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia’s Rebuild Leadership Group and Co-Chair of the Art Funders group.  She values the opportunity her role provides to support area nonprofits as they address the needs of the Greater Philadelphia community.

Stephanie Mullen, Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Mullen joined The Barra Foundation as an Administrative Assistant in June of 2012.  Prior to joining The Foundation, she worked for the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) in Largo, FL as a Program Support Associate.  She also worked for CoreTech Consulting as an onsite Training Coordinator and GSI Commerce, Inc. as an Assistant to the Chairman and CEO.  Mrs. Mullen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Purdue University.

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