Get to Know Karen

Karen is a veteran Chief Executive with experience in the private, public, political and non-profit sectors. Her work has included running high profile national advocacy campaigns, forming and advising national boards, and founding and running her own successful marketing firm.  

Karen started Ripple Communications  in 2005 and has advised numerous clients on strategies for organizational success.  The firm delivers a full range of services including strategy development, executive and board counsel, business development, marketing, advocacy campaign development and execution, public relations, media training, and a full suite of communications and multi-media products.  The firm’s clients have included PBS, Grant Thornton, InterMedia, International Center for Research on Women, Intelligence and National Security Alliance, Organization for International Investment, the Collaborative for Student Success, among others.

Karen also currently serves as President of Conservative Leaders for Education (CL4E), a startup non-profit organization that she conceived and founded, and is chaired by William J. Bennett, former Secretary of Education under President Ronald Regan. CL4E is an innovative organization dedicated to bringing conservative principles to education policy decisions. Comprised of state-based concerned policymakers and thought leaders, CL4E’s focus and energy is devoted to helping parents and teachers provide the best possible education for every child. Karen serves on the CL4E board and has the primary responsibility for fund development, overall strategy and organizational growth.

Karen most recently served as the Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, an organization dedicated to advocacy for the implementation of high academic standards and aligned assessments.

Karen began her career with a successful and impressive stint in politics. She worked for Newt Gingrich when he was House Minority Whip and made the historic move to The Speaker’s Office in 1994. She served in a variety of roles in The Speaker’s Office, but most notably was the staff assigned to generating greater exposure for the Republican women serving in the House.

Karen received both her bachelors and Master’s degrees in Communications from the University of Maryland. She lives with her husband Jim in Alexandria, Virginia.  You can follow Karen on Twitter @karennussle (where she is usually commenting on politics or Nationals baseball).