Karen Dolan


Karen Dolan

Karen Dolan is a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Karen holds an M.A. With Highest Distinction in Philosophy and Social Policy from the American University in Washington DC.

Karen joined IPS in 1996. Her public scholarship and activism at IPS has linked community-led organizations with policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels. The focus of her work is on anti-poverty issues, criminal justice reform, local democracy and empowerment, with a focus on race and gender. Karen currently directs the Criminalization of Poverty project.

Some of Karen’s publications include: The Poor Get Prison: The Alarming Spread of the Criminalization of Poverty; Closing the Inequality DivideBattered By The Storm: How the Safety Net is Failing Americans and How to Fix it; We’re Not Broke; Our Communities are Not for Sale; Paying the Price: the Mounting Costs of War in Iraq; Foreign Policy Goes Local; and she was a contributor for Mandate for Change. Karen blogs for Huffington Post and regularly appears in other media outlets. Karen serves on the boards of The Participatory Budgeting Project, The Liberty Tree Foundation and Jobs With Justice Worker Rights Board.

Areas of Expertise

  • Progressive movement, policymakers
  • Poverty, economic hardship
  • Cost of war and militarism at home


Away with the Clowns

The GOP race may be a circus, but the candidates are dead serious about padding the pockets of the rich.

Pope, Post-partisanship, and Prisons

Can the pope's emphasis on criminal justice reform begin to shift the ideological landscape in Washington?

A Summer Storm is Brewing

The need for our safety net is palpable, but the GOP's hurricane budget is shredding it.
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