Dr. Karen Johnson Named New CEO for New Pathways for Youth

Dr. Karen Johnson is joining New Pathways for Youth as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Johnson comes from a long and impactful career in education and development, including 27 years of leadership as Vice President of Community Relations at Midwestern University.

“She’s a passionate leader who has transformed lives throughout our community as the board president of major Valley nonprofits,” said John Williams, Board Chairman, in a statement. “She has motivated and managed large teams with multi-million-dollar budgets to do extraordinary things. And because New Pathways is a place where the miracles of big dreams and human potential are recognized and celebrated every day, we know she’s the perfect fit.”

Williams said that Johnson’s knowledge and appreciation for the unique culture of New Pathways meant a lot to the board in making this decision. He said that Johnson knows that opening the eyes of a young person to the vast power and opportunity of their life is the greatest gift one can give. 

Johnson begins in her new role on Sept. 20 with the support of the board as well as outgoing CEO Christy McClendon.

“It is Christy’s transformational leadership that has gotten us to this point, and she continues to aid in ensuring a smooth transition,” Williams said. “Christy will also continue her work with New Pathways as a consultant, offering her unique skills toward building a faculty model for New Pathways’ curriculum and educational programming, supporting our continued development and intentional growth of impact.”


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