Karen Kukurin

Former Deputy Director for the Office of the Governor of California, which oversees the 8th largest economy in the world. Appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004, Karen Kukurin was responsible for a three million-plus constituent base in the Los Angeles area, targeting and developing advocacy support for issues and legislation for the Governor. Key issues: Overhauling the state's $89 billion budget and developing a global green economy.

Previously, she served as Vice President of Communications for The Employers Group, overseeing legislation and legal advocacy programs for one of the nation's largest human resources employer associations. She was the first woman vice president in the association's 100 year history. Among her responsibilities, she managed the organization’s volunteer legal committee, which provided briefs for almost every major employment case before the California Supreme Court; many cases in the state and federal Appellate Courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ms. Kukurin was the head of her own Beverly Hills-based public relations firm and held previous positions in prominent public relations/public affairs firms in Los Angeles, representing national clients such as Baskin-Robbins, USC, Merle Norman Cosmetics, United Way, Fiat of Italy, Target, Inc., and Mervyn's.

She also served as Assistant PR Director for the Tournament of Roses Assn., interfacing with national and international media.

She is a former member of American Women for International Understanding ( AWIU) , a world-wide network fostering understanding and goodwill among nations. She was a committee member for the 2010 Women of Courage Gala at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C., held in conjunction with the U.S. State Dept. to honor ten women selected from U.S. Embassies around the world. She also served as Chair for the "Women Making Our Mark in the Millennium," state-wide conference of the Association of California Commissions for Women.

She is a founder of the Women's Council of the LA Regional Foodbank, 3rd largest food bank in the country.