For nearly twenty years Karen Kerrigan’s leadership, advocacy and training work has helped foster U.S. entrepreneurship and global small business growth. She is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, and is the group’s chief advocate for its members.
Kerrigan regularly testifies before the U.S. Congress on the key issues impacting entrepreneurs and the economy, and has been appointed to numerous federal advisory boards including the National Women’s Business Council, the U.S.-Iraq Business Dialog, the U.S. Treasury’s Taxpayer Advisory Panel, and the National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions of U.S. Free Trade Agreements. Kerrigan has participated in two Presidential economic summits, and scores of events hosted by the White House, U.S. Small Business Administration and other federal government agencies and departments. She has written hundreds of Op-Eds and newspaper columns, and regularly appears on national television and talk radio programs.
She has been called America’s “entrepreneurial envoy” and “small business ambassador” for her extensive work overseas. Kerrigan is a founding member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, and regularly provides counsel to governments and business associations across the globe regarding entrepreneurial development, capacity building and policy formation and implementation. Kerrigan currently chairs the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), one of the core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy, which works to strengthen democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market oriented reform.
In 2012 and 2011 she was named a Top 100 Champion Small Business Influencer by Blackberry and Small Business Trends. In November of 2009 she was presented with the “Small Business Advocate of the Year” award by the NY Enterprise Report, Among other accolades, Inc. Magazine named Kerrigan to its small business “Best Friends in D.C.” (2006) list as a “power broker and activist” with “serious clout” for entrepreneurs.; Fortune Small Business to its “Power 30” list (2000); and The Hill newspaper to its “most influential small business” list (2006) describing her as “the hardest working woman in show business.” In 1995, National Journal named Ms. Kerrigan to its short list of “K Street” activists most likely to have an impact on Capitol Hill. Campaigns and Elections Magazine named her as one of its “Rising Stars in Politics” in its April 1996 issue.
Kerrigan graduated from SUNY Cortland with a B.A. in Political Science, and resides in Northern Virginia.