Dr. Palasek is currently the Director of Educational and Academic Programs at the John Locke Foundation. She received her B.Mus.Ed. from Hartt College of Music at the University of Hartford, the M.A. in Economics from the University of Connecticut, and her Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University. While completing requirements for the doctoral degree in economics, Karen also served as a legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).

Since receiving the doctorate in 1989, Dr. Palasek has continued to sharpen the educational saw, beginning with the Certificate in Nonprofit Management intensive track program at Duke University (2008). She has since completed (2010) the degree of Master of Organization Development in the EMOD program at Bowling Green State University, Ohio.

Karen Palasek joined the John Locke Foundation in 2002, where she began working with the Carolina Journal and North Carolina Education Alliance as a writer and policy analyst in the area of K-12 education.

In 2004, Dr. Palasek became the director of Educational and Academic Programs at the Locke Foundation, leaving regular duties with Carolina
Journal and North Carolina Education Alliance to take on several new projects. One was responsibility for the John Locke Foundation student intern program and directing a weekly interns’ reading and discussion group.

In 2004, Dr. Palasek launched a web-based column on the John Locke Foundation home page, titled “The Free Market Minute.” That year, she also initiated an outreach effort to build a college and university Faculty Affiliate Network (www.locke.FAN.org) throughout North Carolina, and took on responsibility for presenting a weekly speaker each Monday in the informal Shaftesbury Society luncheons.

Dr. Palasek’s largest project within Locke is the E.A. Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders program (www.eamorrisfellows.org). Begun in 2005, the E.A. Morris Fellowship selects up to 16 qualified Fellows to participate in a series of retreats and leadership development efforts. The Morris Fellowship program is about to begin its fifth year of operation. E.A. Morris e-newsletters provide updates on the program, leadership topics, and topics in organization effectiveness.

Dr. Palasek’s teaching experience includes positions in economics at Tuskeegee Institute, the University of Hartford, George Mason University, Johns Hopkins University, Towson State University, North Carolina State University, Campbell University, and Peace College, among others. Upon moving to North Carolina in 1993, she spent nine years as a full-time homeschool parent before joining the Locke Foundation while maintaining an adjunct college teaching role.

Karen’s articles and reviews have appeared in the Carolina Journal, John Locke Foundation Policy Reports, The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty, the Cato Journal, The Market Process, and numerous other print and World Wide Web sites.