Karen Mulhauser, President of Mulhauser and Associates, has been providing consulting services to nonprofit organizations, grantmakers, and candidates since 1988. In addition to effective consulting services, she brings many years of leadership experience as CEO and board member of nonprofit groups, with particular expertise in management assistance, strategic and program planning and evaluation, public affairs, meeting planning and facilitation, fundraising, and coalition building.
Karen is known for her coalition building and collaboration skills. In addition to coordinating many efforts within the women’s movement, she has started and managed coalitions and networking efforts within the peace and security community in the 1980s and 90s and within the international development community in the 1990s and currently.
She helped her young friends in 1989 start Women’s Information Network and has been the Chair of its Advisory Council ever since. In every year since 1994, the Karen Mulhauser Award has been presented to a woman leader who has done the most to mentor and support young, prochoice, Democratic women.
Throughout the 2008 election primary season, Karen was a Senior Advisor to Obama for America and coordinated Women for Obama in the DC area. Throughout the general election, she continues to coordinate Women for Obama in the region. She also assists with three voter participation programs: Peace Impact to help a coalition of national organizations register and turn out their members to vote; Church Ladies to bring voter issues information to African America church women; and Hip Hop Caucus, mobilizing this youth constituency to register tens of thousands of voters and coordinate GOTV efforts.
In 2004 she was on the management team of United Progressives for Victory established to coordinate strategic efforts to prevent George Bush‘s re-election by preventing third party candidates from acquiring enough votes to tip the balance in November 2004. After the 2004 elections, she helped coordinate the Emerging Progressives Forum to identify and bring together the best and brightest young people who worked in campaigns.
Recognizing that Congress will not take constituencies concerned about international development seriously until they are political, she started America’s Impact, a political committee that supports candidates for Congress who support principled foreign policies.
From July 2001 to June 2004, she was the Chief of Party for the Management Systems International contract with US Agency for International Development to support the Global Development Alliance Secretariat.
A graduate of Antioch College in 1965 with graduate study at Tufts University, she was trained as a biochemist and worked at Boston University and Albert Einstein Colleges of Medicine as a research associate. She taught high school chemistry and physics at the Cambridge School of Weston from 1967-1970, where she also created a course on the social responsibility of scientists for students committed to careers in the sciences, and she initiated sex education efforts.
Before consulting, Karen was the Director of the Center for Education on Nuclear War and an affiliated coalition, Citizens Against Nuclear War (CAN). CAN was a 501 (C) (4) coalition of over 60 national membership groups whose primary concerns were issues other than peace or arms control (education, environment, labor, women, etc.). She started both groups in 1982 to institutionalize a commitment to arms control. During this time, she also started and chaired Women for a Meaningful Summit to create forums for women to be heard on international security and foreign policy issues. She coordinated WMS’s program to bring delegations of women to Geneva in 1985, Iceland in 1986, the US in 1987 and Moscow in 1988 with the goal of involving more women in the global security debate.
From 1970-1973, she worked for Seattle Planned Parenthood as a trainer for family planning personnel in federally funded clinics in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. There she lead discussions with groups of doctors, nurses, social workers and administrators on subjects of program administration, contraceptive technology, counseling techniques and attitudes toward sexuality.
From 1975-1981, Karen was the Executive Director of the National Abortion Rights Action League and before that was the Director of the Washington office of NARAL. As Executive Director, she increased membership from less than 7,000 to over 135,000, increased the budget from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $4,000,000, guided the planning process to develop a model national grassroots organizing plan, and started the NARAL Political Action Committee and the educational NARAL Foundation. She was asked to represent NARAL or debate the abortion issue with all major print and electronic media.
Throughout her work experience, Karen has believed that collaborative activities and coalitions are valuable to achieving an issue or programmatic goal. Shortly after Karen started her own business, she started and still convenes, ConsultingWomen, which lists more than 450 self-employed women in DC.
For over two decades, her professional and voluntary activities have been dedicated to mobilizing informed constituencies to enter public policy debates, whether at the local, national or international level, and to become involved in shaping solutions. She is committed to involving others in the electoral and political process, and has been involved herself. She has worked in local and national political campaigns, mobilized support of arms control advocates in both the Mondale-Ferraro and the Dukakis Presidential campaigns, and in the Clinton/Gore ‘96 Campaign as well as the Gore/Lieberman Campaign to build a political constituency for development assistance and global engagement and in 2007-2008 with Women for Obama. She coordinated the re-election campaigns of Eleanor Holmes Norton’s for 12 years. She has also coordinated coalition approaches for Democrat and Republican delegate education and Party Convention efforts. In 2004, she launched a new political action committee, PAC, America’s Impact, to support candidates with global commitment. Her work as Senior Advisor to Obama for America created an environment for hundreds of women to become active, traveling to key primary states, hosting house parties and debate watch parties and hosting phone banks to battleground states.
Karen has been deeply committed to voluntary service throughout her life. She has served on over 30 boards of directors. Current board involvement: American Forum; City at Peace; and President Elect of UNA NCA. She chairs the Advisory Council of Women’s Information Network.
Former board involvement includes: American Public Health Association-Population Section Council; Antioch University Trustee; Association for Women in Development (AWID); British American Security Information Council; Center for Population Options; JumpStart – DC; Choice USA, Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign; Public Allies; Public Education Center (National Security News Service); Women’s Foreign Policy Campaign; National Abortion Federation; Scoville Peace Fellowship; Voters for Choice, Women for a Meaningful Summit (Chair); Women’s Edge and Women’s International Network for Development and Democracy in El Salvador. She was President of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, and the Antioch Alumni Association.
Karen has represented various organizations at international conferences in Romania in 1974 (World Population Conference), Mexico City in 1975 (International Women’s Tribune) Geneva in 1985, Iceland in 1986, Greece and Australia in 1987, Ixtapa Mexico at the Six Nation Peace Initiative Meeting in 1987, and Moscow at the International Women, Peace and Environment Conference in 1989 and at the Women Entrepreneurs’ Conference in 1992. She has been listed in Who’sWho in Emerging Leaders, Who’sWho in the East, Who’sWho of American Women, Who’s Who in International Women.