Karen M. Proctor

Senior Fellow in Social Innovation

Karen M. Proctor is founder and principal of Harbour Workshop LLC, a boutique social innovation firm that provides strategic advice and consultation to leaders and organizations working in and with the social sector. Karen’s accomplished career has been devoted to working across the public and private sectors to address issues ranging from hunger to school reform.

Karen has been the chief social responsibility administrator and strategist for media, publishing, and sports organizations including major market radio stations, Scholastic, and the National Basketball Association. A nationally recognized leader in the social impact space, Karen has advised corporate CEOs, non-profit, and philanthropic chief executives, as well as federal and state senior level officials. Her work in service of more than 200 organizations has honed her expertise in strategic thinking and planning, program design, implementation, evaluation, and cross-sector collaboration. Karen is known for her thought-leadership and passion for producing transformational outcomes. In addition to serving as a Fellow with the Institute for Social Innovation, she also serves on the ConvergeUS Council of Innovation Advisers.

Just prior to launching Harbour Workshop, Karen was Scholastic’s Vice President of Community Affairs and Government Relations where she established and led the company’s public affairs practices. During her tenure she spearheaded enterprising national education and public policy initiatives that markedly contributed to business growth and improved educational opportunities and conditions for millions of children and families. As Director of Community Relations for the National Basketball Association, Karen served as the chief community relations consultant to NBA and WNBA clubs.

Karen’s non-profit and philanthropic sector leadership includes roles as President and Trustee of the Maurice R. Robinson Fund and Chair of the Board of Directors for New York’s Literacy Assistance Center. Karen has served on numerous governance and advisory boards. She is currently a board member of PENCIL, New York City’s public education advocacy organization.

Karen has appeared on national television and radio programs including NBC’s Today ShowCBS This Morning, and The Tavis Smiley Show (radio) and has been a featured speaker and panelist at major business and industry conferences. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.