Karen Mills

23rd Administrator of the Small Business Administration & Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School
Karen Mills
Karen served in President Barack Obama's Cabinet as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration from 2009 to 2013. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Business School, focusing on U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship and innovation.

In 2016, Karen released a comprehensive look at small business lending – The State of Small Business Lending: Credit Innovation and Technology and the Implications for Regulation. The research included recommendations for policymakers and regulators on how best to ensure borrower protections, while not stifling the innovation that is driving greater access to capital for small businesses.

As SBA Administrator, Karen focused on deploying the agency’s programs and initiatives to drive economic recovery among the nation’s small businesses. Notably, the agency’s loan guarantee programs -- a portfolio of more than $100 billion –- saw record lending years during her tenure.

Prior to the SBA, Mills spent 25 years in venture capital and private equity, including as a partner in several firms. She earned an AB in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. Additionally, she is a co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Main Street Finance Task Force and chairs the Advisory Committee of the Private Capital Research Institute.