Karen Pittman

As a founding partner in KP Catalysts, I focus on synthesizing research, policy and practice resources about where, when, how, and why learning and development happens, working to augment K-12 educators excitement and commitment to strengthening the education ecosystem with knowledge from the youth development fields. I take these lessons into my roles as Creative Director of CTO Remix.

I have made a career of starting organizations and initiatives that promote youth development – including the Forum for Youth Investment, which I co-founded with Merita Irby in 1998. After serving as the President & CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment until February 2021, I stepped away from organizational management to dedicate my time to galvanizing the growing interest in using science-informed strategies to truly change the odds that all children and youth can be successful. I spent the remainder of 2021 as a senior fellow at the Forum, working with Merita Irby on the Readiness Projects while I took time to find or create my new “home base.”

I am pleased to have recently announced my decision to become a partner in Knowledge to Power (KP) Catalysts, helping friend and colleague Katherine Plog Martinez strengthen and expand her nimble, capacity building business. KP Catalysts is the home for my lasting contribution to the thriving youth fields, Changing the Odds Remix – a public platform for sharpening the ideas about how, where, when, why, and with whom learning and development happens (or doesn’t happen).  Launched in December 2021 the first season of the Remix podcast, you’ll see Changing the Odds Remix grow in the coming months with a wide range of regular Remix publications. In addition, after a several year hiatus, in January 2022 I will once again write a monthly column in Youth Today, the field paper I regularly contributed to for more than two decades.

My commitment to public thought leadership is grounded in a much deeper commitment to servant leadership.  In addition to CTO Remix, I have reaffirmed my commitment to use my knowledge and connections to help selected organizations and initiatives whose leaders are on the same journey to change the odds for youth success. In 2022, after stepping down from my Senior Fellow role at the Forum, I am taking on new roles with the two co-leads of the Readiness Projects – as a scholar-in-residence with the National Urban League and as an Equity Fellow with the American Institutes for Research. I am also continuing my role as a governing partner of the SoLD Alliance and taking on a range of new – roles as a senior advisor, fellow, consultant, or board member – with organizations committed to creating equitable, learner-centered ecosy

2024 Commitments

Attendance Works

Center for the Developing Adolescent

Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) Alliance (Governing Partner)

ASU Teachers College/ Next Ed Workforce Initiative

Brookings Advisory Group - Adolescent Development and Education

Special Olympics’ National Education Leadership Network

National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments

Teach for America/ National SEL Programming Evaluation