Karen Shelstad is a strategic thinker with over 25 years of experience in senior management roles in the philanthropic and charitable sectors, working with the London Community Foundation, the Canadian Opera Company and the Toronto Symphony. She is currently Program Director and Director, Social Finance at the Lawson Foundation, where she leads the Child & Youth Diabetes Strategy and the Foundation’s Impact Investing portfolio.
Karen has been an active volunteer on various boards and committees, including the United Way of London & Middlesex, the London Arts Council (founding director) and the Rowbust Breast Cancer Survivor Dragonboat Racing Society. She is currently serving on the Board of Environment Funders Canada.
In addition to her work in the philanthropic and charitable sectors, Karen has performed as a soloist and chamber musician (piano) in Europe, the US and Canada.
Karen holds an MBA from the University of Toronto. She completed a BMus in piano performance from the University of Western Ontario, followed by post-graduate studies at the internationally renowned Hochschule für Musik Detmold, Germany.
Karen is a member of a national- and international award-winning dragon boat racing team. Karen lives in London, ON and works out of Foundation House, Toronto.