Karen is Chief Strategy Officer for Fenton Communications, a social change firm. With over 30 years of experience in communications, Karen has worked primarily on behalf of low-income neighborhoods across the country by promoting community and economic development initiatives. Before joining Fenton, she was the Press Secretary for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, the first Mayor in the nation to require market-rate developers to build affordable housing in exchange for tax breaks. From 2000 to 2015, she was President of her own company, Hinton Communications, a public relations firm with offices in Washington, DC, and New York City. Her company provided strategic communications services, media relations, media training and event planning services to mostly non-profit and government clients and its expertise was in promoting advocacy issues through the news media and media-related events. Her clients included the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Labor and the General Services Administration. She represented the National Realtors Association, the Merchants Payments Coalition, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Enterprise, LISC, the Amazon Defense Coalition, New American Schools and many other nonprofits that focus on affordable housing, education and the environment.
Karen also worked in the Clinton Administration, serving as Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for former HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo. Before that, she served as Secretary Cuomo’s Senior Advisor for Communications. In that role, Karen became well versed in community and economic development policies and programs at all levels of government. As Press Secretary for former U.S. Congressman and Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, Karen learned the ends and outs of Capitol Hill and, as Director of Marketing/Communications for the D.C. Public School System, she experienced firsthand the challenges of a big-city school system.
Immediately after graduation from the University of Mississippi, where she majored in Political Science and Journalism, Karen was as a reporter, covering City Hall and statewide politics for the Jackson Daily News in Jackson, Mississippi, and then later a general assignment reporter for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado.