Penn GSE CMSI

Karen Gross

Karen Gross is a Washington, DC-based advisor and consultant to non-profit schools, organizations and governments. She focuses on strategies for vulnerable student success across the K-20 pipeline. A frequent author, speaker and commentator on issues in education, she is the author of the forthcoming book, Are You Lastic?, about systemic approaches to enable student post-secondary degree attainment. For eight years, she was President of Southern Vermont College, a small, private, affordable, four-year college founded in 1926 (located in Bennington). The College, with data-supported initiatives geared to first-generation student success, offers a career-launching education with a liberal arts core. Approximately 22% of the student population is diverse, is more than 45% Pell eligible and is 65% first generation. For the 2012 year, Gross served as Senior Policy Advisor to the US Department of Education in Washington, DC. In that capacity, she worked on the President’s 2020 Initiative and the interagency task force charged with redesigning the transition assistance program for returning service members and their families. Previously, she was a tenured law professor for two decades with expertise in consumer finance and over-indebtedness, including student debt. She is a cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Smith College and a cum laude graduate of Temple University School of Law, having spent her final year of law school at the University of Chicago.