Teachers College, Columbia University

Karen Stout, President and CEO

Dr. Karen A. Stout is the president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, the nation’s largest movement to improve success for all students, especially low-income students and students of color. Through ATD, Stout leads a network of institutions that are building their capacity to enable more students to complete their education with a credential that has value. Colleges in the ATD network help more than 4 million community college students have a better economic opportunity and achieve their dreams.

Dr. Stout has received national recognition for her accomplishments in higher education innovation and leadership including being named one of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education’s 2018 Leading Women, the American Association for Women in Community College’s 2017 Woman of the Year, and one of Washington Monthly’s 16 most innovative higher education leaders in 2016.

Stout joined ATD in 2015, following a more than 14-year tenure as president of Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania. During her tenure, the college distinguished itself as an ATD Leader College, earned the prestigious Leah Meyer Austin Award in 2014 for its college-wide approach to student success, and garnered numerous national awards for innovation in work with veterans, the development of leading-edge academic programs, applications of digital technology, and advancing sustainability.

Among other leadership and advisory roles, Stout serves as a member of the College Promise National Advisory Board, the Campus Compact Board of Directors, and the University System of Maryland William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Transformation Center Advisory Board. She also contributes her time and experience as an Achieving the Dream Leadership Coach, Aspen Institute Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence faculty contributor and mentor, and member of the Community College Research Center Advising Board.

A frequent speaker and writer, Stout focuses on strategies for enhancing student success and completion, accelerating and scaling innovation, and launching a new era of community college fundraising. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Delaware, an MBA from the University of Baltimore, and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Delaware.