Board of Trustees

Karen Kocher, Board of Trustees

Karen Kocher


  • Global General Manager, 21st Century Jobs, Skills and Employability, Microsoft


  • BA in Political Strategy and Communications, DePaul University

About Karen Kocher

Karen Kocher is a foresight-oriented, business-astute executive who solves complex issues, manages polarities, and leverages deep expertise as an influencer, thought leader, and change agent. Kocher has held senior human resources, health care, and sales leadership roles in insurance, information technology, consulting, and business outsourcing across the United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Kocher is the global general manager of 21st century jobs, skills, and employability for Microsoft. The emphasis of this role is powering the planet through sustainable individual employability and organizational strategic talent pipelines.

Previously, Kocher was the chief learning officer and talent executive for Cigna Corporation, a Fortune 90, $39B global organization where she led leadership effectiveness, learning, organizational development, strategic talent planning, employee insights/engagement, and performance management for 40,000 employees worldwide. Earlier, she worked for IBM as the global content executive, Software Division, designing and implementing IBM’s social learning product strategy, and at IKON Office Solutions as vice president/P&L leader, New England Learning Services Business. She has led successful enterprise-wide initiatives linking business strategy with human resources planning while building and developing key capabilities, enhancing organizational culture, and designing and deploying strong leadership development frameworks.

Kocher is a member of six boards, including the Glint Advisory Council, Jobs for America’s Graduates, and UpSkill America’s Business Champions. She has received many awards, including the Women Super Achiever Award presented at the World HRD Congress in Mumbai, India, in 2015. She has been featured in several publications and is the contributing author of three published works.