Join Us for a Conversation with Shannon O’Brien and
Emerge America President Karen Middleton:
Why Women Should Run for Office Now
Moderated by Samantha Levy, CBS 3 News Reporter
Sunday, October 21, 2012
6:30 – 8:00 PM
95 Main Street, Easthampton
Shannon O’Brien is the former State Treasurer and Receiver General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A graduate of Yale University and Boston University School of Law, Shannon began her legal career as a litigation associate at the Boston firm of Morrison, Mahoney and Miller. She was first elected to the Massachusetts Legislature at age 27, serving in both the House and Senate over 8 years. After waging an unsuccessful campaign for State Treasurer in 1994, she worked as Vice President for External Affairs for Community Care Systems, a large, multi-state behavioral health care hospital organization, and also taught undergraduate courses at Boston University’s School of Communications. In 1998, she became Massachusetts’ first female State Treasurer. During her tenure she dramatically improved operations, accountability and efficiency, managing a combined staff of over 500 employees and a budget in excess of $75 million. Departments under her purview included: the Lottery, Pension Fund, Cash Management and Debt Management. In 2002 she was the first woman nominated by a major political party for Governor of Massachusetts, ultimately losing a close race to Republican Governor Mitt Romney. Shannon is the founder and principal of the O’Brien Advisory Group, providing strategic advice and business development services for cutting edge technology companies primarily in clean energy, health care, telecommunications and financial services. She also serves on advisory boards for F-Squared Investments, and Free Flow Power, a hydrokinetic energy company.
Karen Middleton joined Emerge as its president on September 1, 2010. She brings her experience as an elected official, campaign organizer, small business owner, trainer and political leader to Emerge and is committed to the vision of bringing Emerge into all 50 states.
Karen served in the Colorado State Legislature from February 2008 through 2010, where she was in a leadership position as Majority Caucus Chair and a member of the Education and Business Affairs and Labor Committees. From November 2004 – February 2008, she served on Colorado’s elected State Board of Education representing the 7th Congressional District.
In addition to six years as an elected official, Karen’s work includes teaching political science, serving as a trainer for the White House Project and the Center for Progressive Leadership, creating the Colorado Legislative Women’s Caucus, and serving as a county chair for the Democratic Party. She worked for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), eCollege, and as Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver.
Karen holds a B.A. degree from Mount Holyoke College in Women’s Studies and Politics, an MA in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Denver, and an MA in Higher Education Organization and Governance at the University of Denver. Originally from Massachusetts, and after eighteen years in Coloardo, Karen and her family recently relocated to Danville, California.