Karen Middleton joined Emerge as its president on September 1, 2010. She brings her experience as an elected official, campaign organizer, small business owner, trainer and political leader to Emerge and is committed to the vision of bringing Emerge into all 50 states.
Karen served in the Colorado State Legislature from February 2008 through 2010, where she was in a leadership position as Majority Caucus Chair and a member of the Education and Business Affairs and Labor Committees. From November 2004 - February 2008, she served on Colorado's elected State Board of Education representing the 7th Congressional District.
In addition to six years as an elected official, Karen's work includes teaching political science, serving as a trainer for the White House Project and the Center for Progressive Leadership, creating the Colorado Legislative Women's Caucus, and serving as a county chair for the Democratic Party. She worked for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), eCollege, and as Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. While at WICHE, she was instrumental in establishing the North American Council for On-Line Learning, an international association of online K-12 schools. In Washington DC, Karen was the Manager of Development Programs at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.
Karen received a 2007 "Colorado's Movers and Shakers Award" from The Colorado Statesman. She brings a range of critical experience to our organization, from working directly with candidate and leadership training programs to political organizing, leadership, non-profit management and fundraising.
Karen holds a B.A. degree from Mount Holyoke College in Women's Studies and Politics, an MA in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Denver, and an MA in Higher Education Organization and Governance at the University of Denver. Originally from Massachusetts, and after eighteen years in Colorado, Karen and her family recently relocated to Danville, California. Her husband, Larry Beer, served four years on the Aurora City Council in Colorado. They have a daughter, Zoe Grace (3). Karen's stepdaughters, Molly (17) and Katie (14), now divide their time between Denver and Danville.
Karen can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.