Karen Warner MPA/MBA 2018 is looking for health care solutions that meet the scope of the problems.
Name and HKS degree: Karen Warner MPA/MBA 2018, concurrent with Stanford Graduate School of Business
Hometown: Oakdale, California
Education: BA in Human Biology, Stanford University
Favorite spot on campus: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, especially when I can snag a comfy red booth seat.
Favorite HKS course: Mark Fagan’s Operations Management course where I put learning into action. My team worked on a consulting project with Boston Children's Hospital and it was incredibly rewarding to develop solutions that would have an impact on actual patients.
Random fact: My ukulele is a symbol of my belief in the importance of lifelong learning and in the importance of art to maintain and celebrate our shared humanity. I picked up the ukulele just a few years ago. It was a completely humbling experience to try to learn something so foreign as an adult. I love the idea of pushing myself to try something new. Here at HKS, I continually remind myself of my commitment to lifelong learning and the importance of pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
Why did you come to HKS?
I returned to school to explore new strategies for scaling impact. Taking a rights-based approach to social issues means I become frustrated with strategies that reach only a segment of the population. I am interested in solutions that live up to the size of the problems we seek to address in the world, and I believe such solutions require engagement across sectors. I was excited about the flexibility of the MPA Program here at HKS. I've also been incredibly impressed by the diverse backgrounds of the students in my MPA cohort; they are deeply grounded in the impact they hope to make throughout their careers.
Stand-out activity at HKS
Serving as a Michael S. Dukakis Governors' Summer Fellow in Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s office. The fellowship, which is coordinated by the HKS Office of Career Advancement, offered an invaluable look at the inner workings of state government. I was able to apply my background in organizational management to support the state's use of data to improve government outcomes for Coloradans.
What’s next for you?
I am passionate about expanding health care access among low-income and vulnerable populations. I am especially interested in reproductive health and access to contraception. After graduation, I hope to build partnerships across the public and private sectors to expand access to essential health services and resources, including family planning and reproductive health services. HKS is preparing me to better navigate and influence public systems, expanding my leadership toolkit, and exposing me to new ways of thinking about social change.