Karen Zuccardi
Program Associates, Winrock International

Karen Zuccardi thrives on helping make our world a better place for all. Born and raised in Bogota Colombia, many of Karen's younger years were faced with the many challenges of poverty. As a young child, Karen always had a smile as she dreamed of finding a way to experience what our world has to offer. Finding her way to the United States at the young age of 21, Karen worked hard to attain her education, including a recent master's degree in public service and an undergraduate degree in international economics and commerce.

Karen has a great passion for other cultures and a deep-felt interest to know more about how different people live and dream. Karen's quest for more has led her to visit almost 30 countries, mostly as a solo traveler, where she has been able to experience first-hand the many beautifully diverse cultures of our world. Through her travelers, Karen became even more aware of the pressing environmental issues facing our planet. This realization, combined with her own experiences growing up in Colombia, implanted in her a deep desire to be part of the change she wants to see in this world.

A natural-born connector of people with a deep, unwavering passion for sustainable economic development has resulted in Karen finding her perfect career opportunities. As a Program Associate with Winrock International, Karen helps entrepreneurs develop their ideas and concepts to reality. Karen has a particular passion for social enterprises where solving social and environmental issues are part of their model.

Karen possesses a high level of curiosity for the understanding of complex systems and a natural drive to create solutions where needed. She believes that the best tool for sustainable economic development is creativity and systematic intentionality. Karen is passionate about innovative startups, green technologies, social enterprises, disruptive innovations, and creative ideas that challenge the status quo.

As a volunteer, Karen makes use of her passion and knowledge in sustainability in her role as the Chair of the Little Rock Sustainability Commission. She is constantly looking for ways to make Little Rock a more sustainable city through projects and strategies that educate and encourage citizens and organizations to work together for common goals. Karen also enjoys dancing, camping, storytelling, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. Losing her father at a young age, her mother Bianca, who happens to be her best friend, raised Karen and her three siblings, with love, passion, and encouragement to always thrive.