Dr. Karen Lindsey is a scholar, speaker and leadership consultant. She currently serves an Assistant Professor of Strategic Communications at Elon University in North Carolina. From 2017 to 2021, she served as a visiting lecturer at Texas Christian University in the Bob Schieffer College of Communications where she taught public relations, strategic writing, diversity and campaigns courses. She is owner of Lindsey Consulting Group primarily advising university presidents and corporate executives on personal brand, social corporate initiatives and inclusive leadership practices.
Dr. Lindsey is an experienced public relations practitioner. Prior to teaching, she was Vice President of the Higher Education sector in the Dallas, Texas office of Edelman, one of the world's leading public relations firms. Her primary clients included Arizona State University, Denison University, The Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. In this role, she and her team helped university presidents establish thought leadership in digital and print media and improve their personal and professional brands. She created crisis communication plans, conducted media coaching, provided overall reputation management strategy and led the work of account executives in New York, Washington, D.C., Austin, Houston and Dallas.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dr. Lindsey has 20 years of combined corporate communications, higher education, media relations, and marketing experience. She served as Director of Field Development for Northwestern Mutual, a Fortune 500 financial services company headquartered in Wisconsin where she implemented national recruitment, retention, market development programs, and led initiatives to recruit more women as financial representatives. Additionally, Dr. Lindsey held corporate communications, media relations, and marketing positions with the Chicago Tribune, U.S. Bank and Wisconsin Gas (now WE Energies). She served as a leadership communications consultant to the U.S. Army where she completed assignments in Washington, D.C. and Germany for the Department of Defense.
She is a frequent conference guest speaker, podcast and media guest and facilitator of topics on Authentic and Inclusive Leadership Communication, Leadership Identity Development, and Women of Color in Leadership. In 2021, she was a speaker at the PRSA Corporate Communications Conference in Nashville. In 2020, she was selected to present at SXSW in Austin, Texas on the topic of intersections of gender, race, and leadership. In 2015, Dr. Lindsey presented a TEDxTalk on counterintuitive career advice for college students. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), International Leader Association (ILA), a fellow with the Women in Leadership Development Institute (WLDI), a University Leadership Scholar Fellow, and a former member of the National Association for Professional Women (NAPW), the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers (SoACE). Dr. Lindsey's community service work is vast including the Alzheimer's Association, Meals on Wheels, and Girl Scouts, USA.
Dr. Lindsey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Wisconsin and a Master's degree in Corporate Communication from Mississippi College. She has a doctorate in higher education administration from Azusa Pacific University with a research emphasis on organizational leadership and the influences, formation, and emergence of leadership identity in women of color in higher education, public relations agencies, and other corporate environments. She is working on a book chapter about inclusive leadership and employee communication. Her summer research project is centered around Black women in executive leadership (non-DEI roles), within public relations agencies and Fortune 500 corporations.
In her spare time, she practices having a fit mind, body, spirit and career. Dr. Lindsey believes that diversity, equity and inclusion is more than a workshop or a speech but begins on an individual level by embodying our personal values, examining our similarities, respecting lived experiences, and acknowledging historic realities.
Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @drklinzy.