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Karen Pittman

Co-Founder & Former Executive Director of the Forum for Youth Investment

Co-Founder & Former Executive Director of the Forum for Youth Investment

Travels From Travels From:
Washington, DC, USA
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Karen Pittman Biography

Karen Pittman served as the President & CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment until February 2021, then transitioned to a senior fellow role to dedicate more of her time and energy to thought leadership.

Karen has made a career of starting organizations and initiatives that promote youth development – including the Forum for Youth Investment, which she co-founded with Merita Irby in 1998.

A sociologist and recognized leader in youth development, Karen started her career at the Urban Institute, conducting studies on social services for children and families. She later moved to the Children’s Defense Fund, launching its adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives and helping to create its adolescent policy agenda. In 1990 she became a vice president at the Academy for Educational Development, where she founded and directed the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research and its spin-off, the National Training Institute for Community Youth Work.

In 1995 Karen joined the Clinton administration as director of the President’s Crime Prevention Council, where she worked with 13 cabinet secretaries to create a coordinated prevention agenda. From there she moved to the executive team of the International Youth Foundation (IYF), charged with helping the organization strengthen its program content and develop an evaluation strategy. In 1998 she and Rick Little, head of the foundation, took a leave of absence to work with ret. Gen. Colin Powell to create America’s Promise. Upon her return, she and Irby launched the Forum, which later became an entity separate from IYF.

Under their leadership, the Forum has established deep roots as a national nonprofit, nonpartisan “action tank” – combining thought leadership on youth development, youth policy, cross-system/cross-sector partnerships and developmental youth practice with on-the-ground training, technical assistance and supports – fully committed to changing the odds that all children and youth are ready for college, work and life. It provides ideas, services, and networks that leaders need in order to make more intentional decisions that are good for young people. The Forum helps leaders increase their capacity to more effectively make the case for and manage the collaborative efforts that are needed to change the odds for youth; improve the alignment and appropriateness of child and youth policy agendas and investments; and strengthen programs’ and practitioners’ capacity to create environments in which youth thrive, across all the systems and settings where young people spend time. The Forum is the home of many named centers and initiatives, including the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, Big Picture Approach Training & Consulting, and SparkAction, to name a few.

Karen has written three books and dozens of articles on youth issues, and was a regular columnist in the youth development newspaper, Youth Today. She is also a respected public speaker and has served on numerous boards and panels, including those of the Kauffman Foundation, the Educational Testing Service, YouthBuild and the National Center for Children in Poverty. She currently sits on the Turnaround for Children board. Karen also served on The Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, a national effort to unite leaders to re-envision what constitutes success in our schools.

Karen has been honored with the National Commission for African American Education Augustus F. Hawkins Service Award (2002), the American Youth Policy Forum Decade of Service Award for Sustained Visionary Leadership in Advancing Youth Policy (2003), the Healthy Teen Network Sprit of Service Award (2007), The Non Profit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50 (2009) and was named one of the 25 most influential leaders in Afterschool by the National Afterschool Association. She also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Partners for Livable Cities, joining previous awardees such as President William Clinton and Lady Bird Johnson.

Karen Pittman Speaking Topics

  • Popular Speaking Topics

    • Positive Youth Development
    • Taking a Big Picture Approach to Community Change
    • Problem Free Isn’t Fully Prepared
    • Defining Readiness for Children and Youth

Karen Pittman Videos

  • Presenter Spotlight: Karen Pittman - YouTube
    Join the 2020 SEL Exchange Virtual Summit to explore strategies for “Catalyzing our Collective Commitment to Youth” focusing on identity, ...
  • Karen Pittman at How Kids Learn Conference VI in Los Angeles, CA ...
    Karen Pittman at How Kids Learn Conference VI in Los Angeles, CA. HowkidsLearn. Loading... Unsubscribe from HowkidsLearn? Cancel
  • Funder Insights: The Forum for Youth Investment - YouTube
    Karen Pittman, Co-Founder, CEO and President of the Forum for Youth Investment, discusses how the collective impact approach has helped ...

FAQs on booking Karen Pittman

  • How do I book Karen Pittman to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Karen Pittman for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Karen Pittman, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Karen Pittman or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Karen Pittman

    Speaking fees for Karen Pittman, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Karen Pittman are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Karen Pittman, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Karen Pittman speak about?

    Karen Pittman is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Business, Education, Empowerment, Inspirational, Non Profit, Personal Growth, Virtual Speakers.
  • Where does Karen Pittman travel from?

    Karen Pittman generally travels from Washington, DC, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Karen Pittman’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Karen Pittman for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Karen Pittman for your next private or corporate function.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Karen Pittman or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
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    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Karen Pittman is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Popular Speaking Topics. The estimated speaking fee range to book Karen Pittman for your event is $5,000 - $10,000. Karen Pittman generally travels from Washington, DC, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Kanya Balakrishna, Gever Tulley, Keith L. Brown, Adora Svitak and Robyn Jackson. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Karen Pittman for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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