Dr. Karen Palasek completed her undergraduate degree at the Hartt College of Music at the University of Hartford, earning a Bachelor of Music Education degree, before going on to earn an M.A. in Economics from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University. In 2008, Dr. Palasek returned to graduate school to complete a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University, and in 2010 completed the Master of Organization Development degree from Bowling Green State University.
Dr. Palasek has been a member of the faculty at Tuskegee University, the University of Hartford, Towson State University, and, most recently, Methodist University. She has served in an adjunct role at Johns Hopkins University, North Carolina State University, Campbell University, and William Peace University. She has also worked as an independent consultant in the organization development field, and as a staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Upon moving to North Carolina in 1993, Dr. Palasek spent nine years combining a full-time homeschool parenting role with an adjunct college teaching role.
In 2002, Dr. Palasek joined the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, and from 2002-2011 she served as a policy analyst and director of educational and academic programs at Locke. Her most significant role began in 2005, however, when she became the founding director of the E.A. Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders program. The E.A. Morris Fellowship is an ongoing program that selects up to 16 qualified applicants annually to participate in a series of retreats and leadership projects.
Dr. Palasek is married and currently resides in Angier, NC with her husband and their small herd (3) of cats.