Native to Connecticut and raised in El Paso, Texas, Karen earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. She served as director of the Austin Anti-Defamation League and oversaw the launch of the Austin Hate Crimes Taskforce and the expansion of the school-based anti-bullying campaign, No Place for Hate. Early in her career Karen served as a policy director for an Austin City Council member, which helped instill a faith in democracy and good government. Karen founded Citizen Discourse out of a deep concern for the state of our polarized society.
Compassion 2020: Karen has partnered with the United Way for Greater Austin to establish Compassion 2020, a campaign for empathy and action. At the heart of the campaign is a social contract, the Compassion Contact. Compassion 2020 encourages people to sign the Compassion Contract, be Compassion Activators, and share their stories.