Karen McNeil-Miller describes social and human impact as the center of her life’s work. As the president and CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation, Karen helps guide the Foundation to determine the most impactful investment of human, financial and influence capital on behalf of Colorado’s most vulnerable individuals and families.
At the Foundation since September 2015, Karen’s role is to set direction with the Board, gain commitment from staff, external stakeholders and partners, and align resources to advance the Foundation’s mission to improve the health of Coloradans. Bringing the Foundation’s mission to life is her driving force. She says, “I chose this important field of work to be on the ground in Colorado communities and to get closer to those in need — many through no fault of their own — and assist in every way I could.” Not surprisingly, the highlight of Karen’s time at the Foundation has been the #Healthiest Colorado Statewide Listening Tour where she visited 48 counties and 55 cities or towns throughout Colorado. Listening to Coloradans share their perspectives on health assets and barriers left Karen with a renewed commitment to the impact the Foundation can make through strategic grantmaking, partnerships and policy and advocacy work.
Karen joined the Foundation after serving for more than 10 years as the president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, one of North Carolina’s largest private foundations. Under her leadership, the Trust evolved into a strategic, impact-driven foundation with a national presence on issues ranging from rural health to access to care.
Before joining the Trust, Karen spent 16 years with the Center for Creative Leadership, an international leadership development and research nonprofit organization headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. During her tenure, Karen developed expertise in individual and organizational leadership development, succession planning, strategic thinking, team building, diversity, executive coaching and leading change and transitions.
Karen lives each day knowing that good health impacts every element of our lives. A former special education teacher and head of the Piedmont School in North Carolina, Karen is active within the nonprofit community and national and regional philanthropic and rural health organizations. She is a board member of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Denver Academy. At home, Karen cultivates a balanced, healthy life that includes her husband and two children, a minor shoe obsession and — on a beautiful Colorado day — a good book and a glass of wine outside on her deck.
BS Early Childhood Education — University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Master of Education, Cross-Categorical Special Education — University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Doctor of Education, General Leadership — Vanderbilt University