PAST SPEAKERS

Kara Valikai
Women: The Next Emerging Economy
As a result of this workshop, participants will gain a deeper understanding of how companies are empowering women through three distinct areas: employees and corporate value chains, corporate philanthropy and community investment, and public policy and advocacy. 

About Kara Valikai
Kara Valikai is the Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center's Health and Wellness and Women’s Economic Empowerment Issue Networks. In this role, she supports global companies to modify, grow, and improve in their wellness and women’s economic opportunity through their corporate citizenship initiatives. She brings together a diverse set of leaders to discuss the most pressing health and wellness and women’s economic empowerment challenges through research, reporting, and forums. These resources empower companies to identify the best solutions, strategies, and partners and make real change. 

Kara recently earned an MBA and MPA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Harvard Kennedy School, respectively. In these programs, she specialized in sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and international affairs. In addition to her studies, she worked for the Harvard Kennedy School CSR Initiative. She co-authored a report which illuminated ExxonMobil’s complex network of partners necessary to establish a $19B liquid natural gas project in Papua New Guinea. In addition she co-authored a report, which assessed the business case for The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 women’s economic empowerment initiative.

She previously worked for TechnoServe in Romania, Colombia, Chile, and Nicaragua. Kara also spent two years working for a microfinance rating agency, Planet Rating, in Peru where she led and executed financial risk and social ratings for microfinance institutions across Latin America. Prior to Planet Rating, she was a senior financial analyst for an asset management company, American Capital. She has also worked in public accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant. Kara speaks Spanish fluently and holds a B.A. in Business-Economics from U.C. Santa Barbara.