Karen Gross

Former President, Southern Vermont College; Former Senior Policy Advisor, US Dept. ED

I am an educator, consultant and an author. Currently, I speak, write, advise and consult on student success, improving educational leadership and handling educational crises as well as consumer finance, student indebtedness and financing higher education. To that end, I serve as Senior Counsel to Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners Company. In Spring 2016, I was a visiting faculty member at Bennington College in VT. I am also an Affiliate of the Penn Center for MSIs. I have recently published a children's book titled Lady Lucy's Quest (Shires Press; 3/29/16 pub date) and have a forthcoming book on student success being published by Columbia TCP (2017). Speaking audiences include EACUBO, NEASC and CASE, and I write/blog for a variety of publications including HuffPost, WPo, Hechinger Report, CollegeAD, NAIS, MEDIUM, BRIGHT, InsideHigherEd, Chronicle of Philanthropy and Aspen Institute Journal of Ideas. With my new children’s book, I am speaking in schools and libraries around the nation, with accompanying media coverage. From 2006 -- 2014, I was President of Southern Vermont College, a small, private, affordable, four-year college founded in 1926 and located in Bennington, VT. The College offers a career-launching education with a liberal arts core. The College enrolls many first generation, low-income Pell eligible students and is committed to student access and success. With a strong interest in athletics, I chaired the NECC and was on the NCAA DIII President’s Advisory Group and continue to advocate for and write about improving collegiate athletics. From Jan. 2012 – 2013, I served as Senior Policy Advisor to the US Department of Education in Washington, DC. I was the Department's representative on the interagency task force charged with redesigning the transition assistance program for returning service members and their families, working closely with an array of government agencies. I also worked closely with the White Initiative for HBCUs. Prior to becoming a college president, I was a tenured law professor for two plus decades. My academic areas of expertise included consumer finance, over-indebtedness and community economic development and continue to write and speak on these topics. Prior and subsequent to entering into government service, I was on a wide range of non-profit boards.