Karen Hackett

Karen Hackett (MBA) ’87 was named the Chairman of the American Society for Association Executives.  Since 2003 Karen has been the CEO of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. As CEO, Karen works directly with the Board of Directors and executive management team to oversee 240 employees and manage an annual budget of nearly $60 million. Karen has been a true leader in association management and found a passion for health care early in her career.

“I don’t think any of us currently in association management ever said we wanted to be in association management when we grew up. I started working in the health care field and found my niche because I loved the association work and found members that were just as passionate about doing great things in health care and hospitals,” said Karen.

Mentors along the way like Thomas C. Dolan, PhD, FACHE, CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American College of Healthcare Executives, encouraged Karen to look for opportunities within associations and to continually learn new things to sharpen her skill set. “We never stop learning. No matter who you are you need to learn in a structured format.  A great place to start is by learning from the people within your organization,” explains Karen.

“I was very fortunate to have received my MBA from Lewis. Lewis provides an excellent opportunity to learn inside the classroom from real world experienced faculty. The best part about working full time and going to school was that Lewis made it convenient for my busy schedule. I was able to use the fast track program to get ahead and still was able to work full time.”

Karen believes that as an alumna it is always important to remember the opportunities that were provided to you. “Help give back through mentoring and when you accomplish your goal just take a step back and help mentor and encourage someone else to follow in your footsteps.”

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