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Karen E. Howard

Karen E. Howard is a visionary leader with four decades of experience in healthcare policy, government relations, and organizational leadership. Her career has been defined by her unwavering commitment to advancing healthcare initiatives and driving change through strategic advocacy and collaboration.

As a seasoned professional, Ms. Howard has held a range of executive roles, including serving as professional staff for a Congressional committee. Her policy expertise spans diverse areas, including integrative and complementary medicine, managed care, healthcare technology, and mental health.

As the CEO and Executive Director of the Organic & Natural Health Association since its inception in 2014, Ms. Howard’s bold leadership has catalyzed pivotal discussions and actions. She has championed causes such as defining “natural,” promoting quality manufacturing, ensuring traceable sourcing, advancing regenerative farming, advocating for sustainable practices, addressing nutrient deficiencies, and propelling vitamin D research and education. Ms. Howard has also dedicated her efforts to amplifying the consumer voice and advocating for diversity within the natural products industry. Under her leadership and strategic direction, Organic & Natural Health has rapidly risen to become one of the most esteemed trade associations in the industry in less than a decade. Key accomplishments encompass industry recognition, including Nutrition Business Journal’s Education Award in 2017 for the Nutrient Power campaign and the 2020 Education Award honoring Dr. Ken Redcross’ role in the “Get On My Level” vitamin D campaign, which heightened awareness of vitamin D’s significance for minority populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Howard’s entrepreneurial spirit has propelled her to build organizational capacity and achieve success in both nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She previously served as the President of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), overseeing the NASC Quality Seal Program, a rigorous compliance initiative for pet supplement manufacturers and distributors. This program emphasized adherence to GMPs, participation in a national adverse event reporting system, and bi-annual audits. She also served as the Executive Director of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) and the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools. Ms. Howard’s visionary leadership left an indelible mark. Her achievements during her decade-long tenure at AANP included building a sustainable infrastructure, enhancing financial performance, establishing a robust federal presence, and supporting state-level advocacy efforts for licensure. This pivotal period saw the naturopathic medicine profession emerge as a vital component of future healthcare.

With her diverse background and rich experience, Ms. Howard embodies a simple philosophy: Where there is intention in action, there is joy in work. Challenges, in her view, are opportunities waiting to be seized.