Karen Newman

Director of Partnerships and External Relations 

- Fashion Makes Change

Karen serves as a Consultant for the United Nations, working on building partnerships, resource mobilization and visibility for the Sustainable Development Goals, most recently as part of UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict and prior to this UN DESA (Finance for Development Office), UNDG and prior to this within and UNDP, UNCDF devising communication and outreach services to new partners and specialized industry sectors.

She has also worked exclusively on the SDGs, the Partnership Forum and related programs linked to the Post 2015 Agenda and has served as a Senior Communications Consultant for UNDP’s Business Call to Action and SDG Fund.

Karen spent two years with the US Mission to the UN within the U.S. State Department where she was a Fellow working in both the Foreign Press Center and the Public Affairs section. In addition, Karen has extensive experience working within the UN system, including various roles at UNDP, the ILO and the Foundation for the Global Compact. During her career in the public, private and international sectors she has developed expertise with building strategic partnerships, resource mobilization, corporate responsibility, and economic development.

Her partnership work also includes outreach to the diplomatic community and consulting for varied companies including Microsoft Africa and Philips Healthcare, as well as promoting large UN initiatives related to the Millennium Development Goals and SDGs. She managed resource mobilization for the World Business Development Awards in conjunction with the International Business Leaders Forum, the International Chamber of Commerce and UNDP, including the launch of the Business Call to Action in New York and South Africa. She also served as the first Secretary and Treasurer for the Foundation for the Global Compact providing outreach to corporate donors including pension funds and asset managers.

Karen’s experience with government includes varied economic development posts for the City of New York and Chicago city governments. In Chicago, she worked at The Michael Jordan Foundation and United Way in community affairs and grantmaking. Karen also hosted and curated the inaugural TEDx UN Plaza and is active in sustainability issues Fashion Makes Change and Crowdfunding for social good and serves on the Wisdom Council at the Responsible Business Coalition within Fordham University. Karen holds an MBA and MSW from the University of Chicago.

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