Student Q&A with Dr. Karen Johnson, Director, Washington State Office of Equity

Brown CareerLAB and Watson Institute
, South Common Room 256

The Watson Institute and Brown CareerLAB invite students to meet with the inaugural director of the Washington State Office of Equity, Dr. Karen Johnson, for a discussion about how to integrate Pro-Equity, Anti-Racism (PEAR) principles and practices into job and internship searches. What are the best questions to ask when evaluating a potential employer? Are there code words in job or internship postings to look for or avoid? Dr. Johnson will answer these and other student questions regarding PEAR.

Dr. Karen A. Johnson, she.her.Beloved, perhaps best known as an inspiring, authentic, servant leader who keeps it real and 100, has decades of experience in both managerial and leadership roles in the non-profit sector and in federal and state government.


The mission of the Washington State Office of Equity is to promote equitable access to opportunities, power, and resources that reduce disparities statewide and improve outcomes across state government. She leads a team of brilliant ones who work with agencies and communities to implement the state’s five-year Pro-Equity, Anti-Racism ecosystem strategic plan designed to bridge opportunity gaps and reduce disparities so everyone in Washington has full access to health, wealth, and well-being.


Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy, a master’s in public administration, and doctorate in Urban Services. She is a Certified Diversity Executive and member of the 2018 Leadership Women America cohort.


Outside of work, she rests, thinks, reads, and volunteers her time with people, places, and purposes focused on justice.

Dr. J says, “I will work toward equity and justice for all… until justice rolls down as waters.”