Karen VanAusdal joined CASEL in 2016 as the Senior Director of Practice, supporting districts across the country to integrate social and emotional learning (SEL) into their systemic practices. Prior to that role, she served as the founding Executive Director for the Office of Social and Emotional Learning for Chicago Public Schools. Karen started her career as an elementary school teacher in the Washington, DC, area. From there, she joined Peace First, where she designed and managed a whole-school SEL model in the Boston Public Schools. She has earned a B.A. from Brown University, an M.Ed. in Human Development from Harvard University, and an M.Sc. in Social Policy from the London School of Economics. At home in Chicago with her husband, she also works on nourishing the SEL skills of her two school-age children.