Karen Pearl, Special Advisor to the President & CEO
On January 1, 2023, Karen Pearl became the Special Advisor to the President & CEO. Karen joined the organization in September 2006 as President & CEO, bringing with her over 30 years of experience in nonprofit leadership.
During her tenure as President & CEO, Karen expanded the organization’s capacity, increasing meal numbers by 100% and growing its advocacy program significantly to ensure access to services for those most in need. The number of volunteers grew to over 17,000, and the number of meals cooked and delivered to a new milestone of over 2.8 million in a single year.
In 2011, God’s Love embarked on an ambitious $36 million Expansion Campaign to more than double the size of its building so it can more than double the number of meals it cooks and delivers each year. Since August 2015, God’s Love is operating from the new facility, and has expanded its service area and programs.
Karen co-authored a chapter entitled, “Food is Medicine: The Ryan White Food and Nutrition Services Program as a Model for Comprehensive Food and Nutrition Services in the United States,” in the book, published in June 2015, Health of HIV Infected People: Food, Nutrition and Lifestyle with Antiretroviral Drugs.
Karen is the Chairperson of the Food Is Medicine Coalition, a national association of nonprofit, medically tailored food and nutrition services (FNS) providers seeking to integrate FNS into healthcare for the critically and/or chronically ill.
Under Karen’s leadership, God’s Love was the winner of a New York Times Nonprofit Excellence award in 2010, and a winner of the New York State Department of Health Social Determinants of Health Innovation Award in 2018.
In 2018, Karen received a City/State Women’s Leadership Award, and in 2019, was named one of Crain’s Notable Women in Health Care.
Karen serves on the Public Policy Committee of AIDS United and on NYCHANS, the New York Coalition of HIV/AIDS Nutrition Services providers. She spearheads the national Advocacy Capacity Building Program for Food and Nutrition Services providers, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee, an organization that helps build the infrastructure of nonprofits in the New York City metropolitan area.
Prior to joining God’s Love, Karen served as the Interim President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and as President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Nassau County. Before that, Karen was the Executive Director of the Literacy Assistance Center. She also served as the Director of Advisement, Health, and Learning Disabilities at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. Karen holds a B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University and an M.A. in Counseling from New York University.