Karen Francis DeGolia
Corporate Board Director & Technology Investor, PCA Board Chairman
National Board of Directors
PCA Board Chairman
Karen is an experienced CEO, board director, and investor with a proven track record of successfully building businesses across multiple industries. Karen serves as an independent board director for private equity and venture capital-funded companies in Silicon Valley including Nauto, an artificial intelligence-based driver decision support platform, Metawave, which builds radars for both automotive and 5G markets, and Wind River, which delivers software for embedded intelligent connected systems. Karen is a Certified Board Governance Fellow and named “Top 50 Corporate Director” by the National Association of Corporate Directors in 2019. An esteemed director known for her governance expertise, Karen contributes considerable experience to key board topics including Innovation & Disruption, Executive Compensation & Talent Development, Marketing/Product Development & Communications, ESG, and Risk Management. She has completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business Director’s Consortium and was a founding member of Women Corporate Director Salon/Silicon Valley.
Karen’s executive career culminated in over 10 years in the position of Chairman & CEO, of AcademixDirect, a leading technology innovator in education, and Publicis & Hal Riney, an advertising and digital marketing agency within the Publicis network. Karen is widely acknowledged for her earlier success in the automotive industry both as General Manager of the $8 billion Oldsmobile Division of General Motors and then as Vice President of Ford Motor Company, where she was responsible for the corporate venture capital group, global technology-driven business strategies, customer relationship management, and worldwide export operations. Her career has also included executive positions at Procter & Gamble, Internet Capital Group, Bain & Company, and Berol Corporation. In 2019, Karen was named one of the “Top 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, selected as one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Advertising” by Advertising Age in 2012 and named as one of the “Top 100 Chief Executive Officers” in the US ranking 8th among female CEOs by ExecRank. She was recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as one of The Most Influential Women in Business in 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Karen holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in economics from Dartmouth College, where she served as a Trustee from 2000-2009 and is a charter member of the philanthropic Centennial Circle of Alumnae. She was selected as one of the Top 100 Harvard Business School Alumnae in the Bay Area in 2013. Karen is also a Trustee for PGA Reach, the PGA foundation which creates access to the game of golf for military, youth, and diversity groups. Karen resides in Atherton, CA, is married with two stepsons, and owns a zinfandel vineyard in Healdsburg.