Awarded to an alumnus or alumna of the last 15 years whose professional accomplishments, service to alma mater, and/or selfless and caring work to benefit society are distinctive.
Karen Horn Welch '97 received her bachelor of arts with honors (Phi Beta Kappa) in economics and international relations from Bucknell University. In 2001 she received her master's in public administration with a focus on international economics from Harvard University. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder. As a student, Welch was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. She ran on the track team and was also active in student government.
In the 15 years since graduation, Welch has served Bucknell in many ways. She has hosted sophomores through the Career Development Center's externship program, worked as an admissions volunteer, hosted career networking events and is active in the Bucknell Club of Northern California. She has been an avid supporter of Bucknell's development on numerous capital giving committees. For the past eight years she has served as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Welch is director, portfolio strategy at the Stanford Management Company (SMC). In this role, she focuses on asset allocation and portfolio strategy across Stanford University's endowment. In addition, she contributes to managing a liquid overlay portfolio. Prior to assuming this position in January 2012, she was director, public equity and managed the global public equity portfolio, including traditional and equity-based hedge fund strategies. Welch joined SMC in January 2007.
Prior to joining SMC, Welch spent three years at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, where she served as manager of investments. She worked closely with the chief financial officer and investment committee in leading the foundation's diversification of its $6 billion investment portfolio, including the development of its investment policy and strategic asset allocation and oversight of its public equity and fixed income investments. From 2001 to 2003, Welch worked as a research associate at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard University Center for International Development. She conducted economic research and published several papers on economic growth, international trade, and microfinance. She began her career at J.P. Morgan.
Outside of her professional commitments and significant Bucknell volunteerism, Welch also serves on the investment committee for Dignity Health, a nonprofit healthcare system.
She lives in Northern California with her husband, fellow Bucknellian Tom Welch '97, and their children, future Bucknellians Kellen (age 6) Class of 2028 and Connor (age 4) Class of 2030. She is an active volunteer at her children's schools and coaches her son Kellen's soccer team.