Director of Worldwide Education Strategy
Karen Cator currently leads Worldwide Education Strategy at Apple Inc. Previously, she served as president and chief executive officer of Digital Promise. She is a leading voice for transforming American education through technology, innovation and research. From 2009-2013, Karen was Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, where she led the development of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan and focused the Office’s efforts on teacher and leader support. Prior to joining the department, Karen directed Apple’s leadership and advocacy efforts in education. In this role, she focused on the intersection of education policy and research, emerging technologies, and the reality faced by teachers, students and administrators.
She began her education career in Alaska as a teacher, ultimately leading technology planning and implementation. She also served as Special Assistant for Telecommunications for the Governor of Alaska. Karen holds a master’s in school administration from the University of Oregon and recently received the 2014 College of Education Distinguished Alumni award. The American Association of Publishers has awarded Karen with the 2014 Visionary Award.
She received her bachelor’s in early childhood education from Springfield College, and was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award. Cator is a member of the Aspen Pahara Fellows. She is a past chair for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and has served on boards including the Software & Information Industry Association-Education.