Karen Callahan

Senior Consultant & Principal
Leader, Schools Practice

Karen served as Managing Principal of Marts&Lundy’s Education Practice from 2020 to 2023 and is a member of our Board of Directors. Karen joined our firm in 2012. Along with her extensive experience in developing major gifts and annual giving programs and managing campaign efforts, Karen brings expertise in establishing advancement programs and cultivating and soliciting gifts from foreign constituents of U.S. schools, particularly those in Asia and Europe.

Before joining the firm, Karen served Brooks School in Massachusetts for 14 years as the Director of Advancement. During that time, she was responsible for significant growth in all areas of advancement. Over just a three-year period, alumni and parent annual giving was transformed into a significant source of philanthropy, realizing millions of dollars year-over-year while sustaining its growth trajectory. She led the school through consecutive comprehensive and project campaigns – successfully achieving campaign goals and driving increased total giving after each campaign’s conclusion. Karen began her development career at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, where she gained experience in research, annual giving, leadership gifts, and campaign management.

Karen is a frequent presenter for CASE NAIS and TABS. Her research on independent school philanthropy has included studies on international giving, board giving, and most recently, the impact of COVID-19 on metrics, productivity, budget, and staffing. Karen has also served as a trustee at two educational institutions in the Boston area, and is experienced in board development, governance, and training.


Portsmouth, New Hampshire


  • Clarkson University, B.A.
  • University of Massachusetts, M.A.

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