Ready to Lead
Karen truly reflects the diversity and values of our region. She was one of the highest ranking African American women at Nike, where she spent nearly 15 years helping this flagship Oregon company expand jobs and drive innovation.
She began her career in technology, and since leaving Nike has returned to the tech sector, helping launch a startup to assist first time business owners and consulting with entrepreneurs and those who have traditionally lacked access to capital and expertise.
Over the 20 years she has lived in Portland, she has been very active in the community by serving on many charitable and public boards and has volunteered her time for the promotion of music, culture and women’s leadership in the Portland area.
Karen and her husband live with their dogs and cat in NW Portland. She is a graduate of MIT, Harvard Law School and has certificates in International Management and Public Management from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
A Record of Civic Leadership and Community Involvement
Portland Utility Board
Appointed by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to a community-based advisory board for the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau. The Board advises the City on $650 million in operating expenses and capital projects and rate setting for the City’s water, sewer, stormwater and watershed services.
Oregon Youth Development Council
Appointed by Governor Kate Brown to a council which supports Oregon’s education system by developing state policy and administering funding to community and school-based youth development programs, services, and initiatives. Also, a member of the Executive and Strategic Planning Committees.
Portland Parks Foundation
Chair of the Development Committee. The Committee provides funding for the Foundation’s operations so that it can mobilize financial and popular support to ensure a thriving and accessible parks system for all.
Emerge Oregon, Class of 2019 Graduate
A cohort-based, seven-month training program focused on women’s civic participation.
Portland Business Alliance’s Public Service Training Program
A 6-month program for emerging and established community leaders interested in regional economic prosperity to effectively serve on appointed government committees or public office (2018).
Member of the Nature in Neighborhoods Capital Grant Review Committee (2014-2016).
Portland Business Journal, Women of Influence Orchid Award (2011)
MercyCorps Northwest and Portland Fashion Institute, Educator
Teaching entrepreneurs the fundamentals for launching and marketing a small business and developing a business plan for potential grants and lenders.
Women’s Leadership Discussion Groups, Founder
Women’s circles focused on leadership topics (2005 to present).