Karen Finney, moderator
From her experience working in media, national politics, political and communications strategy in both the public and private sectors, Finney brings a unique perspective to her role. Finney hosted her own television show on MSNBC, “Disrupt with Karen Finney”, where she also worked as a contributor and political analyst for five years. Her work also includes four presidential campaigns, service in the the Clinton White House, and Hillary Clinton’s first New York Senate race. As an independent consultant Finney worked with political and corporate clients in the United States and globally on message development, crisis communications, branding, public affairs and strategy.
The first and only African American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, Finney helped lead the DNC’s communications and media strategy for Howard Dean’s “50 State Strategy”, re-branding the Democratic Party, the successful 2006 Congressional elections and DNC communications efforts during 2008 presidential campaign.
Finney has also worked to improve public education. As Chief of Staff to the Chairman, CEO and President of Scholastic Inc., Karen led a number of corporate projects including branding campaigns, internet strategy and partnership development. As Director of Business Development and Strategy, she developed and oversaw the growth of Scholastic, Inc. into new market areas and cultivated strategic relationships with key organizations in the public and private sectors. As the chief spokesperson and Communications Director for the New York City Board of Education, Karen also managed crisis communications in the aftermath of 9/11. Karen has served on the boards of the Women's Leadership Forum Network, NY; Teach for America, NY and the Women's Vote Center. Currently she serves on the boards of NARAL pro-choice America.