Karen Linehan Mroz

Education and women’s empowerment in the Middle East

Karen Linehan Mroz’s career includes both nonprofit and for-profit experience in
business, education, philanthropy, with a primary focus on education and women’s
empowerment in the Middle East.


As president of the Middle East Children’s Institute (MECI) she developed programs in
the West Bank and established an education program for Syrian refugees and Jordanian
under privileged children in Jordan. MECI operated unique comprehensive community
programs that included children’s education, women’s empowerment and
entrepreneurship, as well as community development. Prior to MECI, Mroz was the
founding executive director of Friends of UNRWA-USA, a national non-profit established
to raise public awareness of and private funds for over five million Palestine refugees
under the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). She spent considerable
time in refugee camps and UNRWA facilities for Palestine refugees in Gaza, the West
Bank, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.


She was a program officer for strategic events and communications with The Goldman Sachs
Foundation. At the Foundation, she was responsible for the development of the Goldman Sachs
Global Leaders Program (GSGLP) and the annual GSGLP University before joining the Institute
of International Education. Mroz was elected a member and vice chairperson of a public
board of education in Massachusetts focusing her efforts on special education initiatives.
She also was a coach for Fortune 500 executives with David Allen, a global productivity
specialist and creator of Getting Things Done (GTD). She chaired the Executive Committee
of [email protected] a lifelong learning program at Elon University and serves on the International
Advisory Board for Sitti Soap, a women’s owned social enterprise supporting self-reliance for
refugee women of Jerash Camp in Jordan.

Since 1980, she participated in the creation and development of the EastWest Institute
(EWI) with her late husband, John Edwin Mroz, EWI’s co-founder and CEO. Since 2014
she was a member of EWI’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Today she
serves on the Steering Committee for the John Edwin Mroz Global Leadership Institute
and the Advisory Board for the School of Languages Cultures and Global Affairs both at
the College of Charleston.

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