About Karen

Emmy Award-winning leader with global experience in technology, search, media and wireless.


Karen Olcott

Karen Olcott

  Mobile: 425-641-1124
  Email: Karen@KarenOlcott.com
  Website: www.KarenOlcott.com
  Resume: Karen Olcott Resume
  Skype: Karen.Olcott
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Career Background

Karen joined T-Mobile in 2013, to scout for innovation, define strategy and develop new services that extend the Internet of Things for consumers and businesses. She likes being on the precipice of technology, media and mobile, and exploring the opportunities of always on, always connected of the wireless industry. In April 2015, she won The Big “T” Award from T-Mobile for her leadership and tenacity to “Get the Job Done!”

Karen developed business strategy with NBC News Digital to build audience, engage top tier partners, optimize advertising yield across apps, mobile and desktop platforms, and to focus new technologies to deliver news content across the globe.

Karen spent 14 years as an Executive at Microsoft, and was most recently Director of Strategic Partnerships & Business Development where she negotiated and led technology, eCommerce and content partnerships for Bing and MSN across 45 markets worldwide. She joined Microsoft in 1997 to develop programming strategy for international, and scale out the online business into emerging markets. Microsoft awarded her Individual Gold Star Awards in 2009, 2006 and 2005 for outstanding leadership in strategic partnerships.

Prior to 1997, Karen was Executive Director of Pinnacle Efx , a Seattle-based creative agency for advertising, broadcast/cable and web clients.

From 1985 – 1994, she was the Creative Director for Showtime Networks in New York, and drove the Network Identity Strategy including all graphics, music and design elements to package numerous cable networks. As President of the Broadcast Designers Association, a nonprofit organization of 2,500 design associates, she led the merger with 3,500-member Promax in 1997.

She has won two Emmy Awards, and over 40 awards for design and identity projects.

Karen worked for ABC Sports from 1980 – 1985, traveling the world for Wide World of Sports, Monday Night Football, PGA Golf Tour, World Gymnastics and covered all the live and taped events during the Olympic Games from 1980 – 1988.


Social Entrepreneur

Karen uses her executive leadership and strategic expertise to shape results-focused partnerships across public and private sectors. She founded Partnerships for Global Impact to expand her works on issues of human justice. Her great grandfather Frederick Taylor Gates was the philanthropy architect to John D. Rockefeller, founding great institutions such as Rockefeller Institute, China Medical Board, The Red Cross, and Karen is inspired to continue those generational visions of great impact, risk and leadership.

In May 2013, Karen was selected as a finalist for the 2013 Microsoft Alumni Foundation Integral Fellows Program for her innovation and leadership in making meaningful difference in the daily lives of others. She was one of 21 Nominees celebrated by high profile agencies in November 2013.

In 2012, she was featured in a Womenetics article “Human Trafficking, Human Misery: Dark Links in the Supply Chain” and was a panelist in Harvard Kennedy School/UN.GIFT/UN Global Compact conference on “Public-Private Partnerships“.

She served on the Board of Directors of Polaris Project for 2011 – 2013, and continues to serve from 2009 – present on the Board of Directors of Love146, two non-profit global organizations focused on eradicating Human Trafficking through training, technical assistance, public advocacy, and client service provisioning.



She holds a M.A. from the Freie Universität Berlin (International Relations), a B.A. from Brown University (International Relations and German), and a Certificate from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (Architecture).



"Karen has a passion for emerging trends in technology, impact funding and social responsibility leadership, and a heart for those who are victims of injustice."