Conference Speaker Biography
Karen Johnson Pittman
Senior Vice President
International Youth Foundation
Karen Pittman is senior vice president of the International Youth Foundation (IYF), an organization dedicated to improving conditions for children and youth worldwide by enabling them to care more responsibly for themselves, their families, their communities and the world. In 1999, she established IYF-US, an arm of IYF committed to bringing international lessons and perspectives to U.S. conversations about youth development and youth policy.
An accomplished sociologist and recognized leader in the youth development field, Ms. Pittman began her career at the Urban Institute. She spent six years at the Children's Defense Fund promoting an adolescent policy agenda through the development of a bimonthly report series that linked pregnancy prevention to broader youth development strategies. Ms. Pittman was the founder and Director of the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research until 1995, when she accepted a position with the Clinton Administration as director of the President's Crime Prevention Council.
Ms. Pittman has written three books and dozens of articles on youth issues and is a regular columnist and public speaker. Currently, she sits on the boards of the E.M. Kauffman Foundation, Educational Testing Service, American Youth Work Center and is a member of the National Research Council's Forum on Adolescence. In the course of her career she has also served on the board of the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development.
Ms. Pittman received her B.A. in Sociology and Education at Oberlin College and her master's in Sociology at the University of Chicago.