Karen Jenkins

Senior Associate

Karen Jenkins has served in executive positions with NGO/nonprofit and higher education organizations in over 30 countries. Previous consulting assignments have included the US State Department, Roots of Development, Ford Foundation, SwissContact, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and Oxford Study Abroad Programme (OSAP) at Oxford University.

Her previous leadership positions include:

• Executive Director, African Studies Association, the premier organization in higher education in the US and abroad focused on the study and dissemination of research and information about the continent of Africa.

• President, BCA Study Abroad, a non-profit consortium of higher education institutions that operates international education programs with a peace and justice focus. During her tenure as president, new programs were opened in Cuba, Ireland, New Zealand and India.

• Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) where, as the first person to hold the new position, she oversaw the launch of successful fundraising strategies to foundations, corporations, and governments.

She has had extensive experience in international education (St. Olaf College, Dickinson College and The College of New Jersey) where she was recognized nationally for her leadership.

For nearly a decade, Karen worked in Zambia on programs and projects intended to build local institutional capacity and improve the quality of life for those who are poor, marginalized, persecuted, or force to flee as refugees. In Zambia, she served as the Resident Representative for Africare, a US NGO and then as Executive Director of New Development Applications (NDA), a consulting firm that served public and private clients throughout southern Africa. With NDA, she administered community development funds for Barclays Bank in Zambia, Botswana and South Africa.

For the Government of Canada, she managed the High Commissioner’s Fund in Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, and South Africa. Other clients of NDA with projects on the continent of Africa included the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Frankfurt Zoological Society and Salesians Missions.

Before moving to Zambia, Karen was a program officer for Africa with Technoserve and traveled and worked in Ghana, Kenya, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She taught at the University of Zambia and then at the School for International Training in Vermont.

Karen served as the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Studies in International Education and wrote regular columns on International Education for Diverse Issues in Higher Education. She has published on International Education, International Development and recently on issues related to biking and walking. Additionally, she has made numerous presentations before large and small audiences and has extensive experience in public relations and managing large complex events in the U.S. and abroad.

Ms. Jenkins is a partner with Social Venture Partners-CT (SVP). She is a founding board member of the New Haven Coalition for Active Transportation (NHCAT) and previously served as chair of the Mayor’s Taskforce on Bike Education in New Haven. She is an appointed member of the New Haven Historic District Commission. Board service includes chair of the Board of Directors of the League of American Bicyclists. On completion of her extended term, she was voted “Director Emerita” in recognition of her service. She is certified as a League Cycling Instructor. She served as chair of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition (NJBWC). Board membership includes the New Brunswick (NJ) Ciclovia, International Education Research Foundation (IERF), Model UN/HBCU of the United Nations Association, and Minnesota International Health Volunteers.

Ms. Jenkins now serves as a Senior Consultant for S. Sutton & Associates Inc. and as an independent consultant specializing in fundraising and board development for non-profit organizations, usually with international missions. She currently receives clients assigned by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Karen received her M.A. in International Relations from Yale University, a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law and conducted her undergraduate work was at Fisk University.

Fundraising Area of Expertise: Karen’s predominant expertise is in Board Training, Management and Governance. She also has a wealth of experience in Fundraising Campaigns and Strategic Planning, Major and Principal Gifts, Planned and Legacy Gifts, Donor and Constituent Engagement, Project Management, and Data Analytics.

Sector Experience: Higher Education, Community Based Membership and Advocacy and International Development.

Karen’s fundraising must have: A commitment to our shared humanity and teamwork that effectively crosses domestic and international boundaries for solutions to our increasingly common problems.

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