Kristi Bao '02

Attorney, U.S. Navy

Witherspoon Fellow

As a high school student, Kristi attended leadership camps that first introduced her to the importance of Christians working in the public square. During her undergraduate studies at Biola University, she completed the Witherspoon Fellowship, where she became even more aware of the need for Christian leadership, particularly in the realms of law and politics. Of her time as a Witherspoon Fellow, Kristi said, “I was introduced to Christian philosophers and writers who articulated a solid case for ensuring that religion remains a part of the public sector and why Christian principles are integral to the continuation of this country.”

Upon graduating from Biola, she enrolled in a joint J.D./M.P.A. program. With graduate degrees in hand, Kristi joined the Navy and became an officer in its Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG), where she was quickly entrusted with significant responsibilities and leadership opportunities.

During the six years that Kristi has served in the Navy, she has spent ten months in Afghanistan, and her responsibilities have included traveling abroad to ensure that a sailor on trial received due process from a foreign court, acting as the legal advisor on a classified investigation, prosecuting felony-level cases, and advising a three-star Commander on detainee operations while in Afghanistan. As her responsibilities continue to expand, Kristi hopes to work in the fields of international and cyber law.