Karen Howard (Former Staff) Vice President
Karen recently joined First Focus as Vice President of Early Childhood Policy. In that capacity, Karen is responsible for leading the organization’s work in cross-cutting policy initiatives that impact the early health, development and well-being of children, with specific emphasis on children at risk of significant health, educational and economic disparities.
Karen has over 20 years of experience in the legal, policy and advocacy arenas. She previously worked as the Director of Policy for the Nurse-Family Partnership, one of the leading evidence-based home visiting programs. There, Karen was instrumental in helping to create and enact the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), which is a $1.5 billion grant program supporting the implementation and expansion of evidence-based and promising home visiting programs nationally to improve the early health and development of pregnant women, children and families living in poverty. Karen recently helped lead efforts to secure FY 2015 extension funding for the MIECHV Program.
Karen previously worked as legislative counsel in the office of Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) where she focused on health and education policy, including Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and No Child Left Behind, among other initiatives. Prior to that, Karen served as Deputy Attorney General in the Colorado Office of Attorney General where she supervised attorneys practicing employment and regulatory law and worked on higher education policy issues, such as affirmative action in higher education. Karen previously practiced product liability and employment law at private law firms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Colorado.