As the Director of Impact Strategy at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, Karen works to create high-impact partnership projects across diverse issues and sectors that result in supply-side changes that accrue to the balance sheet of low-wealth households. In her role, Karen also seeks to bring leaders from the cutting edge of financial services technology and infrastructure into dialogue and partnership with policy experts and advocates so that they may, together, shape the financial security systems of the future.
A longtime believer in the power and potential of defined contribution retirement savings programs, Karen also leads the Retirement Savings Initiative at the Aspen Financial Security Program. One of the founders of the Collaborative for Equitable Retirement Savings, Karen seeks to spark policy and market innovations that can help close racial and gender wealth gaps by making saving and investing in capital markets more inclusive. She speaks regularly at investment industry events, on podcasts, and in the media on how we can build assets and reduce debt for everyone in America.
Before coming to the Aspen Institute, Karen spent over ten years at the Financial Health Network (formerly the Center for Financial Services Innovation), where she consulted with megabanks, insurance firms, community financial institutions, and fintechs on the design and delivery of a wide range of quality financial products for underserved consumers. Previously, Karen led the development of the Financial Health Network’s financial services provider engagement model. She began her career in the retirement industry as a bilingual 401(k) plan educator for both Strong Funds and Wells Fargo Institutional Trust Services.
Karen holds M.B.A. and M.P.P. degrees from the University of Michigan. She also holds a B.A. in Spanish and Art History, with a minor in Mathematics, from Indiana University. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, Matt, and two young sons.