A leading democratic strategist, MSNBC Political Analyst and columnist for The Hill, Karen Finney works with political and corporate clients in the United States and globally in the areas of political and communication strategy, message development, crisis communications, branding, and public affairs.
Karen’s more than 20 years in national politics includes four presidential campaigns, the Clinton White House, a New York Senate race, and first African American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee. Karen has also worked to improve public education in the public and private sectors.
As spokeswoman and Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee Karen helped guide 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 strategy for the 2008 presidential campaign. During the Clinton Administration, Karen served as Deputy Press Secretary to then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and as Deputy Director of Presidential Scheduling for President Bill Clinton. Karen has also travelled to all 62 counties in New York State as a Press Secretary for Hillary Clinton’s successful bid for the U.S. Senate in 2000; during the general election in 2004 she travelled with Elizabeth Edwards as her Communications Director.
It was her interest in improving public education that first got her involved in politics, having worked as a teaching assistant in a minimum-security facility for pregnant teenagers in Los Angeles after graduating from UCLA. In the private sector she worked for Scholastic Inc., one of America’s leading children’s media and education companies. As Chief of Staff to the Chairman, CEO and President, Karen led a number of corporate projects including branding campaigns, Internet strategy and strategic partnership development around literacy programs. As Director of Business Development and Strategy, she worked to grow Scholastic’s, education business with an emphasis on English Language Learners, Afterschool education, and Reading Intervention. Karen also served as the chief spokesperson and Communications Director for New York City Schools, managing crisis communications for the system of more than 1.1 million children 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 board of NARAL pro-choice America. Karen is a member of the French American Foundation’s prestigious “Young Leaders” program and a regular contributor to Politico’s “The Arena”, TheGrio.com, Washington Watch on TV One, and the POTUS channel on Sirius XM satellite radio.