Karen Pittman

Karen Pittman

Keynote Speaker: Co-Founder & Former Executive Director of the Forum for Youth Investment

Karen Pittman Biography

Karen Pittman served as the President & CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment until February 2021, then transitioned to a senior fellow role to dedicate more of her time and energy to thought leadership.

Karen has made a career of starting organizations and initiatives that promote youth development – including the Forum for Youth Investment, which she co-founded with Merita Irby in 1998.

A sociologist and recognized leader in youth development, Karen started her career at the Urban Institute, conducting studies on social services for children and families. She later moved to the Children’s Defense Fund, launching its adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives and helping to create its adolescent policy agenda. In 1990 she became a vice president at the Academy for Educational Development, where she founded and directed the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research and its spin-off, the National Training Institute for Community Youth Work.

In 1995 Karen joined the Clinton administration as director of the President’s Crime Prevention Council, where she worked with 13 cabinet secretaries to create a coordinated prevention agenda. From there she moved to the executive team of the International Youth Foundation (IYF), charged with helping the organization strengthen its program content and develop an evaluation strategy. In 1998 she and Rick Little, head of the foundation, took a leave of absence to work with ret. Gen. Colin Powell to create America’s Promise. Upon her return, she and Irby launched the Forum, which later became an entity separate from IYF.

Under their leadership, the Forum has established deep roots as a national nonprofit, nonpartisan “action tank” – combining thought leadership on youth development, youth policy, cross-system/cross-sector partnerships and developmental youth practice with on-the-ground training, technical assistance and supports – fully committed to changing the odds that all children and youth are ready for college, work and life. It provides ideas, services, and networks that leaders need in order to make more intentional decisions that are good for young people. The Forum helps leaders increase their capacity to more effectively make the case for and manage the collaborative efforts that are needed to change the odds for youth; improve the alignment and appropriateness of child and youth policy agendas and investments; and strengthen programs’ and practitioners’ capacity to create environments in which youth thrive, across all the systems and settings where young people spend time. The Forum is the home of many named centers and initiatives, including the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, Big Picture Approach Training & Consulting, and SparkAction, to name a few.

Karen has written three books and dozens of articles on youth issues, and was a regular columnist in the youth development newspaper, Youth Today. She is also a respected public speaker and has served on numerous boards and panels, including those of the Kauffman Foundation, the Educational Testing Service, YouthBuild and the National Center for Children in Poverty. She currently sits on the Turnaround for Children board. Karen also served on The Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, a national effort to unite leaders to re-envision what constitutes success in our schools.

Karen has been honored with the National Commission for African American Education Augustus F. Hawkins Service Award (2002), the American Youth Policy Forum Decade of Service Award for Sustained Visionary Leadership in Advancing Youth Policy (2003), the Healthy Teen Network Sprit of Service Award (2007), The Non Profit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50 (2009) and was named one of the 25 most influential leaders in Afterschool by the National Afterschool Association. She also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Partners for Livable Cities, joining previous awardees such as President William Clinton and Lady Bird Johnson.

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Karen Pittman and other top speakers and celebrities.

Karen Pittman Videos

Presenter Spotlight: Karen Pittman - YouTube
Karen Pittman at How Kids Learn Conference VI in Los Angeles, CA ...
Funder Insights: The Forum for Youth Investment - YouTube

How to book Karen Pittman?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Karen Pittman for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Karen Pittman, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Karen Pittman or any other celebrity of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Karen Pittman?

Booking fees for Karen Pittman, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Karen Pittman, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.

Who is the agent for Karen Pittman?

All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Karen Pittman for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Karen Pittman for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service talent booking agency?

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Karen Pittman or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Karen Pittman or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.


Karen Pittman is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Empowerment, Personal Growth and Non-Profit & Association. The estimated speaking fee range to book Karen Pittman for live events is Below $10,000, and for virtual events Below $10,000. Karen Pittman generally travels from Washington, DC, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Erin Gruwell, Adora Svitak and Kanya Balakrishna. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Karen Pittman for an upcoming event.

Karen Pittman Videos

Presenter Spotlight: Karen Pittman - YouTube
Karen Pittman at How Kids Learn Conference VI in Los Angeles, CA ...
Funder Insights: The Forum for Youth Investment - YouTube

Karen Pittman Speaking Topics

  • Popular Speaking Topics

    • Positive Youth Development
    • Taking a Big Picture Approach to Community Change
    • Problem Free Isn’t Fully Prepared
    • Defining Readiness for Children and Youth

How to book Karen Pittman?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Karen Pittman for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Karen Pittman, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Karen Pittman or any other celebrity of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Karen Pittman?

Booking fees for Karen Pittman, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Karen Pittman, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.

Who is the agent for Karen Pittman?

All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Karen Pittman for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Karen Pittman for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service talent booking agency?

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Karen Pittman or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Karen Pittman or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.


Karen Pittman is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Empowerment, Personal Growth and Non-Profit & Association. The estimated speaking fee range to book Karen Pittman for live events is Below $10,000, and for virtual events Below $10,000. Karen Pittman generally travels from Washington, DC, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Erin Gruwell, Adora Svitak and Kanya Balakrishna. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Karen Pittman for an upcoming event.

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