In addition to her role as Principal at BRicK Partners, Karen is also an Impact Finance Center Senior Advisor, Invest for Better Circle Facilitator, and a member of Toniic, a global action community for impact investing. In these roles, Karen is working to expand the supply of impact investors especially those interested in place-based investing in the Chicagoland area.
Prior to forming BRicK, Karen was an Executive Director in the Tax Oriented Investments Group at JPMorgan Chase. In this role, Karen and her deal teams evaluated, underwrote and closed over 40 Low Income Housing Tax Credit transactions, representing over $300 million in equity investments. Her 14-year tenure at JPMorgan Chase (1995-2009) spanned senior level duties in the Corporate and Investment Banks. In addition to her originator duties, Karen also worked as a Partnership Manager and Credit Underwriter, and served as a member of the Chase Foundation Advisory Committee, IL Housing Council Board, Neighborhood Housing Services Board, and on a Preservation Compact Working Group.
In addition to her experience as a banker, Karen has worked in the nonprofit and public sectors. She was Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Investors Council, a national trade association; Director of Public Policy at the Illinois Facilities Fund (now IFF), a regional CDFI; Co-Director of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives; Board Member of the Tibetan Resettlement Project – Chicago; and a consultant helping Ibrahim Parlak, a Turkish Kurd, remain in the United States after his political asylum status was revoked.
Karen is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Master in Public Policy Program, where she was a Kennedy School Fellow.