Karen Baker was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to serve as the first-in-the-nation state cabinet Secretary of Service and Volunteering on February 26, 2008. Prior to this appointment, she served the Schwarzenegger Administration as the executive director of CaliforniaVolunteers. Karen brings to the organization 20 years of innovative leadership in all facets of the service and volunteering sector, including local and national non-profits and federal agencies.
Previously, Karen served as the managing partner for Valley Vision, a Sacramento-based “action tank” that addresses regional economic, environmental and social issues. She also served as the director of innovation at Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger non-profit located in Washington, D.C. Karen served as director for program coordination and special projects for the Corporation for National Service, and was appointed by President Clinton as the deputy director for AmeriCorps*VISTA.
Before serving in Washington D.C., Karen was the executive director of Chrysalis, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping economically disadvantaged and homeless individuals become self-sufficient through employment opportunities.
Karen holds her bachelor of arts in Sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles. After graduating from college, she served one year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where she worked with at-risk youth in Seattle.