Karen Young joined United Way of Calgary and Area as vice president and chief operating officer in 2014. On April 26, 2016, United Way’s Board appointed Karen as president and chief executive officer, effective January 1, 2017.
Karen came to United Way from The City of Calgary where she served for 26 years as an award-winning leader. As the director of Community and Neighbourhood Services at The City, Karen led change management, strategic planning and policy, partnership management, funding and grant programs, financial administration, community relations, and program development initiatives. She was instrumental in securing $480 million to build four new recreation facilities in Calgary and led the Emergency Social Services efforts during the flood of 2013.
Karen is a visionary leader who believes that positive change begins at the community level and values partnerships and collaborations in achieving a common goal. Driven by her belief that all Calgarians have the right to a good quality of life, Karen is a catalyst for social change and has been serving our communities since the 1980’s, including on the Calgary Housing Company Board of Directors, Calgary TELUS Convention Centre Board of Directors, Trustee of the Burns Memorial Fund, and the Calgary Economic Development Advisory Group.
Prior to joining the executive team, Karen worked closely with United Way over the years on many projects including the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative, Calgary AfterSchool, and the Calgary Local Immigration Partnership.
Karen holds a master’s certificate in municipal leadership and a Bachelor of General Studies in Leisure, Recreation, and Tourism.