Karen Kafer, RDN
Chief Wellness Officer
Karen leads strategic health, nutrition and government partner relationships and thought leader communications, outreach and education with health and wellness professionals. She also manages GENYOUth’s Health & Wellness Advisory Council. As a passionate advocate for public-private partnerships, Karen has parlayed her expertise managing and collaborating with national organizations, to create impactful collaborations and initiatives to advance youth wellness. As part of the Development team, Karen oversees federal and foundation grant opportunities and provides counsel on GENYYOUth’s southeast US development initiatives. Prior to joining GENYOUth in 2014, Karen worked with the National Dairy Council (NDC) leading health and nutrition partnerships with some 20 national organizations. She led NDC’s Lactose Intolerance Initiative, a science-based, communications, culinary and product innovation program to address the key barrier to dairy consumption for one in four Americans. The initiative successfully drove positive changes in consumer behavior and purchases, health care professionals’ attitudes and recommendations, as well as marketplace product innovation. Before joining NDC, Karen worked for Kellogg Company where she held a number of marketing and public relations management positions in the U.S. and Canada. She created a number of ground-breaking public-private cause-related partnerships on behalf of Kellogg with organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics to promote bike helmets, the first on-pack Komen Foundation fundraising campaign and the Super Kids grants program with The Rosie O’Donnell Show. As a registered dietitian, she has worked actively on behalf of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and its Foundation, where she served as a past board officer and a past president of the D.C. affiliate. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where she was honored with a Distinguished Alumnae Award. Karen is also a graduate of Georgetown University’s Executive Non-Profit Management Program.