Our team brings a combined thirty years of experience in highly-competitive environments in both the private and public sectors. We are a team of strategists, catalysts, and doers.
Karen brings nearly two decades of executive search and talent advisory experience to OpenAccess. Building leadership teams and scaling workforces for F500 companies and hyper growth startups alike, she knows firsthand that innovation happens in workplaces committed to inclusion and diversity.
Prior to OpenAccess, Karen founded several executive search agencies leading tech practices and advising on inclusive workplace strategy, recruitment and retention practices and leadership development. Her work has fueled the startup ecosystem and contributed to the growth of some of the most influential companies in the world including Cisco, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. Prior to executive search, Karen held sales and services leadership roles for several venture-backed startups bringing emerging technologies to market.
A tireless advocate for economic opportunity for women and underrepresented populations in tech, she has pioneered multi-million dollar public/private partnerships between industry leaders and major institutions including the Kapor Center for Social Impact, California Community Colleges and the California Workforce Development Board. She is an active advisor on Tech Apprenticeship Programs.
Karen is privileged to be an advisor in the areas of allyship, entrepreneurship, and mentorship. She credits her lifelong independence, resilience and grit to those who encouraged her to "swing for the fences” at the age of 8 as the first girl integrating boys little league baseball.
Karina is a recognized DEI leader committed to gender equity in the workplace. With more than fifteen years of experience working at the highest levels of government, she brings an extensive network of senior executives and government leaders to OpenAccess.
At the Obama White House, Karina led outreach and recruitment within the Presidential Personnel Office. She created strategies to recruit world-class talent to join President Obama’s political team across all agencies, contributing to the most diverse federal workforce in history. Prior to the Obama White House, Karina worked as a Special Advisor to U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand where she led legislative initiatives for women and families. She also spent a number of years working for New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson where she helped connect underserved communities to financial services and educational resources.
Karina is a tireless advocate for her community. She is the Founder and Podcast Host of the Reach Mama Network, an organization that tells the stories of executive moms of color in the workplace. She serves on the Community Advisory Panel for KQED and is a board member of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. Karina has been featured in Forbes, ABC News 7 and Univision. She was named Latina of the Year for El Diario La Prensa, the oldest and largest national Spanish-language newspaper.