Karen Kocher

General Manager, Future of Work and Workforce of the Future


HR experts say that to be truly effective, employees should already be doing the job they wish to be promoted to. Similarly, to be successful, employers should be already preparing for the workforce of the future which will drive organizational performance. Helping employees and employers imagine and prepare for the workforce of the future – specifically in a way that prioritizes learning, empathy, and trust in the workplace – is what motivates me during my waking hours. By expertise, I am vested in collaborating with employers concerning workforce strategy. I also find fulfillment in empowering employees and managers to step up and lead. In my experience, this happens best when people are freed from constraints so they can find their voices and forge their paths toward a career, vocation, or calling. I am also working outside the corporate setting by advising higher education institutions, small businesses, and nonprofits about employability issues. I am currently a board member of Excelsior University where I Chair the Strategic Planning Committee; an investor in Kweza, a female-owned craft brewery in Rwanda; and a board member of Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG). These commitments represent causes important to me and subject matter in which I excel.Currently, I am Global General Manager of the Future of Work and Workforce of the Future for Microsoft.