Karen Jackson currently serves as the Interim Executive Director of the New College Institute (NCI) in Martinsville, Virginia. In that capacity she is responsible for overseeing NCI’s operations and establishing programming to enhance educational and economic development opportunitiesin Southern Virginia. She also serves as president of her own consultancy Apogee Strategic Partners, a Virginia firm that helps companies and organizations develop and implement innovation oriented strategies and address challenges in information technology, cyber security, autonomous systems, and smart communities. Ms. Jackson formerly served as the Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth.
As Secretary, she was responsible for overseeing and advancing the Commonwealth’s IT infrastructure, developing and advancing policy, programs, and policy to facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship, technology development, and adoption. She led Virginia’s efforts to secure two FAA UAS test sites and was responsible for initiating the Commonwealth’s work in Smart Communities and cyber-physical systems. She also served as Senior Advisor to the National Governors Association’s “Meet the Threat, States Confront the Cyber Challenge” initiative.
Ms. Jackson has received a number of awards and recognition for her work in information policy, cyber security, and public service. In 2017, Ms. Jackson was named as one of State Scoop’s Top Women in Technology and she and Governor Terry McAuliffe were jointly recognized as 2017 Difference Makers in Cyber Security by the SANS Institute.
She currently serves on a number of boards and commissions including the Advisory Board of the Mason School of Business Data Analytics Program, ITA International, the Online Virginia Network Authority, and Sweet Briar College.
Ms. Jackson holds a BSBA from Christopher Newport University and an MBA from The College of William and Mary.