Karen Kerrigan is one of the world's leading experts on policies and initiatives that benefit entrepreneurs. She is widely known for developing collaborative relationships with business associations, public policy groups, media, government, advocacy organizations and the private sector that have led to substantive reforms and initiatives to help encourage and sustain entrepreneurship across the globe. Ms. Kerrigan is President & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, a prominent and respected advocacy and research organization. She is Founder of Women Entrepreneurs Inc., an organization dedicated to helping women business owners succeed through education, networking and advocacy.
Ms. Kerrigan regularly testifies before the U.S. Congress on issues that impact America's small business and entrepreneurial sector. She meets often with delegations from around the world that wish to learn about public policy recommendations and Best Practices in entrepreneurial training that will enhance and sustain business start- up and growth. In June 2002 she was appointed to serve on the National Women's Business Council. In September 2002 she was appointed by the U.S. Treasury Secretary to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP). In 2003, at the President's Economic Summit in Waco, TX she led the Small Business session, the outcome being the enactment of key legislative and policy ideas identified at the event. She also participated in the December 2004 White House Economic Summit where she served as a speaker on the Affordable Health Care panel.
She helped construct the Women Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century conferences sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) and Small Business Administration, and implemented the National Women's Leadership Summit (Oct. 2004) and Flex Options for Women with the DoL's Women's Bureau. In May 2005, WE Inc. co-sponsored the first MidEast/North Africa Women's Business Summit in Tunis, Tunisia where Kerrigan also led a delegation of U.S. businesswomen to the groundbreaking event. In July 2005, she was appointed as a member of the National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions of U.S. Free Trade Agreements to represent the business community. In November 2007, she was appointed to the board of directors of the Center for International Private Enterprise. She serves on the U.S.-Iraq Business Dialog and is an advisory board member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Moms in Business, Enterprising Women magazine, Verizon's Consumer Advisory Board and the Economic Advisory Committee of Broadband for America. She is a founding member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum. In February 2010, she agreed to join the Bipartisan Debt Reduction Task Force, co-chaired by former Senator Pete Domenici and Dr. Alice Rivlin.
In the February 2006 issue of Inc. Magazine, Kerrigan was listed on the "Best Friends in D.C." list for small business owners, profiled as a "power broker and activist" with "serious clout" for entrepreneurs. In May 2005 The Hill newspaper called Kerrigan "the hardest working woman in show business" and credited her leadership of the SBE Council for making it one of the top 5 influential groups representing small business. Fortune Small Business named Ms. Kerrigan to its Power 30 list of key advocates in Washington in September 2000. In 1995, National Journal named Ms. Kerrigan to its short list of "K Street" activists most likely to have an impact on Capitol Hill. Campaigns and Elections Magazine named her as one of its "Rising Stars in Politics" in its April 1996 issue. In November 2009, she was presented with the "Small Business Advocate of the Year" award by the New York Enterprise Report.
Her commentary, analysis and written work have appeared in many of the nation's leading newspapers. For more than a decade she wrote a regular column for the American City Business Journals - an influential network of weekly business newspapers in 50 major markets. She has appeared on ABC`s Nightline, The McLaughlin Group, CNN, CNBC, and Fox News Television among others. She has been a guest on hundreds of radio talk shows.
Ms. Kerrigan is a native of New York, and holds a BA degree in Political Science from Cortland College (SUNY). She resides in Northern Virginia.