Dr. Karen A. Stout

Dr. Karen A. Stout became president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, Inc., (ATD) in 2015. With her leadership, ATD’s network is growing and innovating with new efforts around scaling advising redesign (iPASS), developing zero textbook degree using open education resources (OER), designing non-cognitive wrap around support systems (Working Student Success Network), and placing teaching and learning at the center of institutional change efforts. Dr. Stout has received national recognition for her accomplishments, including American Association for Women in Community College’s 2017 Woman of the Year, and Washington Monthly’s 16 most innovative higher education leaders (2016).

Karen joined ATD following a more than 14-year tenure as president of Montgomery County Community College (PA). During her tenure, the college distinguished itself as an ATD Leader College, earned the prestigious Leah Meyer Austin Award in 2014 for its college-wide approach to student success, and garnered numerous national awards for innovation in work with Veterans, the development of leading edge academic programs, applications of digital technology, and advancing sustainability.

Karen serves as a member of the College Promise National Advisory Board, the Board of Directors of Campus Compact, and the President’s Advisory Board to the Community College Research Center. She has also served as a Commissioner with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education serving on the Executive Committee (2011-2016), the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges (2011-2014), and Implementation Steering Committee co-chair of the American Association of Community Colleges’ 21st-Century Commission (2014), working with more than 100 leaders from across the country to develop a framework for the redesign of America’s community colleges.

A frequent speaker and writer, Karen focuses on strategies for enhancing student success and completion, accelerating and scaling innovation, and on launching a new era of community college fundraising.

She holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Delaware, a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Baltimore, and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Delaware.

Read Dr. Stout's President and CEO Communications, including speeches, presentations, articles, and messages.

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