Karen Olick

For over a decade, Karen Olick has provided strategic counsel and media advice to Democratic candidates, advocacy groups, and companies with brand challenges. Her clients have included technology and energy companies, ballot measure campaigns, and numerous candidates for federal and state offices. 

Most recently, Karen produced television, radio, digital, and print advertising for Beyond Carbon, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Everytown for Gun Safety, Planned Parenthood, and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Her work has focused on issues ranging from climate change to women’s health and reproductive freedom to protecting kids from smoking and vaping. She was the lead strategist and media consultant on important state ballot measures that secured the passage of paid family and medical leave in Colorado and gun safety laws in Washington state and Nevada. 

Karen recently returned to SKDK after serving as chief of staff to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In this role, she helped the Biden administration overhaul the department’s policies and personnel and provided strategic guidance on the full range of DHS issues, including COVID response, cybersecurity, domestic terrorism, border security, and immigration reform. 

Before SKDK, Karen served for more than a decade as chief of staff to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), where she was deeply involved in a wide range of high-profile legislative battles, including family and medical leave, healthcare protections for women, climate change, and workplace fairness. 

In 2005, Karen founded Americans United for Change, an organization dedicated to building broad public and congressional support for protecting Social Security and addressing income inequality. Under her leadership, the organization used aggressive earned and paid media outreach, as well as grassroots and online organizing, to achieve many legislative successes. 

Before serving on Capitol Hill, Karen managed and worked on numerous campaigns, including former Vice President Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign; President Joe Biden’s first presidential campaign; and the winning campaigns of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). She also served as a media advisor for Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) successful reelection campaign.