Karen Holtzblatt

Research Scientist- University of Maryland, iSchool & CEO, InContext Design

Karen Holtzblatt is CEO of InContext Design and Research Scientist at University of Maryland‘s iSchool. A recognized leader in requirements and design, Karen pioneered transformative ideas and design approaches throughout her career. She introduced Contextual Design, now the industry standard for understanding the customer and organizing that data to drive innovative product concepts. Karen has now turned her focus to the  issue of women in high tech companies in order to understand why women leave the field and to provide solutions. Her research and resulting  framework describes the core factors in the work environment that women need to achieve success. Together these can help companies better inspire women.

As a member of ACM SIGCHI (The Association of Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction) Karen was awarded membership to the CHI Academy, a gathering of significant contributors, and received the first Lifetime Award for Practice for her impact on the field. Contextual Design is used by companies and universities worldwide. Karen has more than 25 years of teaching experience professionally and in university settings. She holds a doctorate in applied psychology from the University of Toronto.