Bio photoKaren is a respected community and civic leader, with over 40 years of diverse experience. That’s why she has developed a reputation for making things happen and getting things done.

She put herself through the University of Alberta Faculty of Arts by driving trucks as a Teamster on the Syncrude site in Fort McMurray. After graduating with a degree in Economics, she was asked to be the Executive Assistant to the Speaker in the Alberta Legislature. After senior positions in communications at Alberta College, she brought her passion for community volunteerism to Volunteer Alberta. During her eight years as Executive Director, the organization developed into a dynamic and multifaceted resource for engaging Albertans in the non-profit and voluntary sector. She returned to the legislature in 2012 to serve in the Premier’s office leaving in summer 2013. Karen is now working in the private sector for a provincial financial institution – ATB Financial – connecting the world of banking with the potential of Alberta’s post-secondary students.

Karen’s forte is creating and nurturing networks of people involved in building community leadership. She recently served on the boards of the Edmonton Public Library Board, Volunteer Canada and Alberta Ballet, and as the elected President of the Alberta Library Trustees Association. Karen also served on the University of Lethbridge Management Advisory Council and the Edmonton Journal Community Advisory Board and she is currently part of an initiative at the University of Alberta discussing the next evolution of the Faculty of Arts. She is a city appointee to the GEF Seniors Housing and is Chair of the Government Relations Committee. She is a graduate of the Governance Essentials Program from the Institute of Corporate Directors. Karen received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 for her nonprofit sector leadership. Elected to the national CPF board in 2015, she serves as chair of the membership committee and on the nominations committee.

Over the last 40 years, Karen has been involved in over 30 municipal, provincial, federal, leadership and referendum campaigns – with an enviable win/loss record!

Karen is an avid reader and recently discovered the joy of driving a truck hauling square bales! She is the proud mother of bilingual twins – Rowan is a professor at Stanford University and Whitney is an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles.


  • Extensive leadership service of provincial and national voluntary sector boards; moving networks to a generative governance discussions
  • Experience in resuscitating and developing organizations to reach their full impact
  • Building effective advocacy communication and campaign to impact public policy

Email Karen: k.lynch@cpf.ca