Kara Watkins

Kara Watkins

Senior Program Manager, Inclusive Saving and Investing, Financial Security Program

Kara Watkins is the Senior Program Manager for the Inclusive Saving and Investing Initiative at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program.

Kara Woolley (Watkins) leads the Inclusive Saving and Investing Initiative at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program. Through convenings, research, and innovative partnerships, Kara supports a dynamic cross-sector community of policy and market leaders in pursuit of a lifelong inclusive savings and investing system that includes: investments in rising generations through accounts that leverage the power of compound growth rates, well-designed emergency savings tools to cushion financial shocks and provide financial resiliency, and a retirement savings system that is accessible, portable, equitable, and more effective.

Prior to joining Aspen, Kara spent over three years building a retirement savings coalition at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Kara scaled the coalition membership of cross-sector partners and leveraged opportunities to highlight barriers to and opportunities for innovation around retirement savings for the public and policymakers. During her tenure, Kara incorporated the American Savings Education Council (ASEC) as a key addition to the coalition’s work.

Kara served as the Director of National Programs for the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino campaign at The Raben Group, where she also managed a portfolio of issue-advocacy initiatives and government affairs on behalf of nonprofit, foundation, and corporate clients. Kara started her career on Capitol Hill and has roots in local campaign organizing.

Kara earned her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in Political Science and Latin American Studies with a certificate in Spanish. Kara serves as a Board Member of the Colorado SecureSavings Program. She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, Matt, and dog, Lou.

Authored by Kara