Karen has strategic responsibility for business development within the Institute of the Arts.  Karen has additional responsibility for the University's community of Honorary Fellows and fundraising/individual giving.

Priorities areas are:

  • Business development, funding proposals and project/event management within the Institute of the Arts;
  • Liaison with academic teams and contributes to the arts curriculum through entrepreneurship educaton and project-based delivery with a range of quality-assessed arts partners;
  • Partnership development with creative and cultural organisations;
  • Stakeholder engagement and relationship management;
  • Cultivating fundraising markets from individuals, alumni, corporates and trusts and foundations. This includes the management of the Bright Futures Fund created to support students and recent graduates undertake opportunities that will enhance their employability skills.

Karen has over 25 years of experience in supporting new creative business start-ups, organising showcase events and exhibitions, and as a business mentor for graduates. She has a strong network of contacts in the region and beyond and is keen to ensure that great ideas become a reality.

Karen’s diverse career began in accountancy before moving into the arts and leisure industry (including a period of time as Company Manager for the Moscow City Ballet). She has worked in finance and business administration in an FE college prior to university level business development and fundraising.

Karen is a trustee of the Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, Cumbria's Children's Hospice and Member of the Grant Awarding Panel of The Hadfield Trust.

Qualifications and memberships

Scholar of the CASE Leadership in Development Management Programme

Institute of Fundraising - Diploma in Fundraising

University of Northumbria - MBA, Postgraduate Diploma in Management

Academic and research interests

History of art and design education in Carlisle with focus on the Brampton Road campus 1950 to 2020

Recent external roles

Chair of Board, Carlisle Leisure Ltd (2001-2015)

Trustee, Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, Cumbria's Children's Hospice (2018 - date)

Grant Awarding Panel Member, The Hadfield Trust (2020 - date)