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Karen Farmer White

2013, 2014 and 2023 Speaker

Host | Regaining Connection Through Community

KAREN FARMER WHITE is a founding board member and secretary of the Pennsylvania Conference for Women that is celebrating 20 years in 2023. She is the current chair of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. Previously, she was the managing director of the Pennsylvania office of Mesirow Financial. Prior to Mesirow, White was the vice president of Education at WQED Multimedia, where she won three Mid-Atlantic Emmys for her work in educational television programming. White serves as board chair of Seton Hill University and the FISA Foundation. In addition, she serves on the boards of the Urban League of Pittsburgh and the regional advisory board of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. White has received numerous awards for community service including: The Moe Coleman Award for Excellence from the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics, Pittsburgh BusinessTimes Women of Influence, YWCA Woman of Spirit Award, and named as an Influential Black Woman by the New Pittsburgh Courier. She worked on her doctorate of education at the University of Pittsburgh where she previously earned her Masters of public administration from the Graduate School of Public Affairs, and is a graduate of the executive management program at the Katz Graduate School of Business. She is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh class XII. White has previously served on numerous boards and committees including: Point Park University board, City Theater board, Pennsylvania Healthcare Cost Containment Council, The Pennsylvania Humanities Commission, and served as the eastern area board representative to the National Association of State Boards of Education. In her free time, she enjoys opportunities to serve as a mentor/ advisor to young women in the Pittsburgh area.