CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

Contact Staff

Main Office Information

Fax: 617-627-3401

For questions or requests email Abby Kiesa, Director of Impact at CIRCLE.

Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life
Lincoln Filene Hall
Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155


(click for staff biography and contact information)

Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director of CIRCLE
Abby Kiesa, Director of Impact
Noorya Hayat, Researcher
Rey Junco, Senior Researcher
Kristian Lundberg, Associate Researcher
Victoria Fahlberg, Development and Program Associate
Kathy O’Connor, Office Manager

Peter Levine, Associate Dean for Research at Tisch College; Former Director of CIRCLE

Staff Biographies

Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Ph.D.
Phone: (617) 627-2529

Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg is the director of The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life . She manages CIRCLE’s expansive portfolio of initiatives and products, such as original research, resources for educators and public audience, on a wide range of topics related to civic learning and civic life. With a background in positive youth development and social-emotional learning, and interest in diverse and marginalized youth, she sees research as a powerful tool to address educational inequity.

Kei was a lead author on important papers and reports, such as The Republic is (Still) at Risk – and Civics is Part of the Solution (with Peter Levine); The Future of Civic Education (in NASBE Magazine); Taking the Lead: How Educators Can Help Close the Gender Leadership Gap (with the National Education Association and the American Association of University Women); and All Together Now:  Collaboration and Innovation for Youth EngagementShe has published extensively in various peer-reviewed journals and written book chapters; her full curriculum vitae can be found here.

As a leading expert on civic education, learning, and engagement, Kei’s analysis and commentary are frequently featured in major outlets such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, C-SPAN, Channel 1, and NBC News. Kei hsa been a recipient of a Jobs for The Future Distinguished Fellowship for Student-Centered Learning (2016-2018), and serves on the National Board of Generation Citizen, Democracy Works, and the Leadership Council for Nonprofit VOTE.  She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship and the Voter Study Advisory Council. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University, with an emphasis on child and adolescent development and positive youth development.

Abby Kiesa, M.A.
Director of Impact

Abby joined CIRCLE in 2005 and is based in the DC area. As Director of Impact at CIRCLE, Abby serves as liaison to practitioner organizations across the country to maintain a conversation between research and practice. She also provides leadership for CIRCLE’s election strategies as well as communications, and works on other research and evaluation projects, including two major national studies: Millennials Talk Politics: A Study of College Student Political Engagement and “That’s Not Democracy”: How Out-of-School Youth Participate in Civic Life and What Stands in Their Way. In addition to CIRCLE’s youth engagement work, Abby also engages in research related to Tisch College’s civic renewal efforts.

She is versed in the wide range of youth civic and political engagement efforts and practice, as well as topics such as youth political engagement, and the democratic work of higher education. She is particularly interested in topics such as the infrastructure that supports civic life and democracy, as well as the relationship between inequality and impact as related to democratic participation.  Abby holds an M.A. from the University of Maryland.

Previous to her work at CIRCLE, Abby organized students across the country through Campus Compact as part of a national campaign to increase youth involvement in public life. Her writing on youth political engagement has been featured in several publications and she co-edited the book Raise Your Voice: A Student Guide to Making Positive Social Change.

Abby serves on the board of the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement and on the steering committee of the American Democracy Project (an initiative of AASCU).

Rey Junco, D.Ed.
Senior Researcher

Rey Junco is a Senior Researcher at CIRCLE, where he applies his extensive experience in quantitative social science research to study various aspects of youth civic and political engagement.

Rey has a rich background in several interconnected fields like education, cognitive science, and the use of technology. Before joining CIRCLE, he was a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where he worked on the Youth & Media and the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence projects. He has done pioneering work on young people’s social media use, especially as it relates to their psychosocial development and their potential political engagement. His experience with big data, machine learning, predictive algorithms, and other research tools and methodologies allows him to make forecasts about voting and other youth behaviors.

At CIRCLE, Rey is excited to focus on efforts to study and improve equity in civic and political engagement. He is also deeply interested in the role of social-emotional learning in education, which is the focus of a new initiative at Tisch College, CIRCLE’s parent organization.

Rey has a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from Pennsylvania State University, and he was a licensed, practicing counselor for a number of years. He also has a D.Ed. degree from Penn State.

Kristian Lundberg
Associate Researcher

Kristian Lundberg joined CIRCLE as an Associate Researcher in July 2018. Previously, he served as a research analyst at PEI Media, where he analyzed financial data from private market firms. Kristian graduated from Columbia University in 2017, earning a B.A. in Economics and Political Science. Kristian focused on the intersections of law, governance, and economics at Columbia, using presidential elections data, income inequality indices, and relevant caselaw to perform original research.

At CIRCLE, he is particularly interested in the impact of youth civic engagement on electoral politics, democratic institutions, and efforts to reduce structural inequities. Kristian also works as a tutor for middle and high-school students of diverse backgrounds and considers it an honor to support CIRCLE’s efforts to promote civic education and youth development equitably and justly.

Noorya Hayat, Ed.M.

Noorya squareNoorya Hayat joined CIRCLE as a researcher in January 2016. She is currently working on projects that help promote civic learning and engagement in the k-12 education system and beyond, as well as researching the impact of national service on employment opportunities. She is interested in the intersection of education, both in formal and informal settings, and civic learning and awareness in youth, particularly from marginalized and diverse ethnic backgrounds.

She has experience working in the U.S. and abroad in teaching and educational research. Prior to CIRCLE, Noorya worked as an international researcher and coordinator in public health and nutrition awareness in the developing world. She has experience teaching and mentoring students from diverse backgrounds and grade levels, and worked as an early childhood educator in Boston. She holds an Ed.M. in international education policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a focus towards global education and citizenship for the 21st century, monitoring and evaluation for improving education systems, and applied data analysis. She also has a background in economics and anthropology.

Noorya is passionately interested in narrowing gaps in civic education, awareness, and life-opportunities for under-resourced communities by providing evidence-backed research for decision-making and policies. She considers being part of the CIRCLE team and Tisch College a great privilege and platform to learn and contribute to excellence in research for civic youth development and engagement.

Victoria Fahlberg
Development and Program Associate

Victoria Fahlberg is the Development and Program Associate for CIRCLE. She draws from her deep experiential background in civic and political engagement to provide strong administrative, grant-writing, editorial, and project management skills to the team. Victoria has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and an M.P.H. from Harvard in International Health. She spent the early part of her career working in the fields of child sexual abuse and domestic violence as a professor, researcher, and clinician in Rio de Janeiro. In 2002 she became the Executive Director of a non-profit in Lowell, MA, where she focused on helping newcomers to engage civically by developing programs that assisted with the naturalization process, voter registration, voting, etc.  She used her community organizing skills to develop advocacy campaigns and led a campaign to reform the city’s voting system through a ballot initiative. Because of her concern for students from non-English speaking households, she developed a drop-out prevention program that increased average attendance by 65% for over 720 highly truant students.  She is a published author and co-editor in the field of domestic violence while also writing on her concerns for students in “The Scourge of Dropping Out,” Communities & Banking, 25(2), 12-15, 2014.

Kathy O’Connor
Office Manager
Phone:  617-627-4710

Kathy O’Connor joined CIRCLE in August of 2010. She is the Office Manager for Tisch College, and works closely with CIRCLE. Kathy handles the organization and processing of daily functions and various projects. She is responsible for the administrative activities and staff who provide support to Tisch College. She handles financial paperwork, and helps in the preparation of events throughout the year. Kathy’s background includes administrative duties in various companies. She was active in volunteering with the youth in her community and, before joining CIRCLE, she was employed by and involved in her local YMCA’s afterschool program.



Peter Levine
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Tisch College; Former Director of CIRCLE
Phone: (617) 627-2302
Website (with blog and publications):

Peter Levine is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tisch College. He was the founding deputy director (2001-6) and then the second director (2006-15) of CIRCLE, and remains involved both as a researcher and as the dean who oversees CIRCLE. He is the author of We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America (Oxford University Press, 2013) and six previous books.  A philosopher who worked for 15 years in the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, he contributes normative and policy analysis. He has served on the boards or steering committees of nonprofits related to CIRCLE’s mission, such as the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, AmericaSpeaks, the Street Law Inc., the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, Discovering Justice, the Kettering Foundation, the American Bar Association Committee’s for Public Education, the Paul J. Aicher Foundation, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium.