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Karen Proctor

Guest expert/host for Session 11

We have known Karen for nearly ten years, as a leader and as a teacher and guide of scores of earnest and eager grad students. Few people we know can match her mix of vast experience, clarity of purpose, ready wisdom, and kind good humor. When we are looking for insight on leadership, we think of Karen.


Karen Proctor works with leaders in all sectors to design lasting solutions for positive social change.

Karen Proctor established Harbour Workshop, a social innovation firm with one simple desire in mind, to help leaders of all kinds lead social change more effectively. The firm’s client list includes: Scholastic, the University of Notre Dame, RWJBarnabas Health, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the National CARES Mentoring Movement, The Democracy Collaborative, School of Visual Arts, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Babson College, Yale Child Study Center, The University of the South, and Accenture.

Karen’s accomplished career has been devoted to working across the public and private sectors to address issues ranging from hunger to school reform. She has been the chief social responsibility administrator and strategist for a global corporation, a major sports league, major market radio stations, as well as a cable television public affairs producer.

Her work in service of more than 300 organizations has honed her expertise in strategic thinking and acting, program design, and cross-sector collaboration. Karen is known for her thought leadership and passion for producing transformational outcomes. In 2016, she was awarded the Brown Foundation Teaching Fellowship at the University of the South. While she leads Harbour Workshop she also works with the university on leadership development and social impact initiatives. She is a senior social innovation fellow with Babson College’s Lewis Institute for Social Innovation.

Karen teaches leadership courses at the School of Visual Arts (NY) and the University of the South (TN). She is a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

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