HKSEE Alumna Champions Equal Rights


The Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC), created in 1961, is a statewide government agency charged to investigate and settle complaints of discrimination in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation. For six years at NERC, HKS Exec Ed alumna Kara Jenkins has worked to investigate these complaints of alleged unlawful discrimination relating to race, national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, and gender identity or expression with the goal of bringing justice to her cases. To her, NERC is a dream job.

“Compromise is a very challenging goal when emotions are high and the stakes even higher during our mediations,” says Jenkins. “The Mastering Negotiation executive education program helped immensely with that. Settlements are an essential job function and the approaches and tools given through this program are invaluable. My agency has benefited as a result, as have our constituents.”

In this past fiscal year, thanks to the efforts of NERC, over $1.4 million was yielded back to those who faced discrimination. Jenkins credits her team, all of whom are dedicated to the mission of equality. She also values the opportunities to expand her knowledge and professional networks in three executive education programs.

“Being placed in a classroom with such high ranking and accomplished professionals; while being engaged, challenged, and taught by the best professors in the world is like nothing else,” Jenkins explains. “Through the active learning method, I found myself to be totally engaged and finding solutions to my own executive challenges.”

In addition to Mastering Negotiation, Jenkins completed Strategic Management in Government: Creating Public Value - a recently retired program, and the Women and Power executive program, all within six years, earning her an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership