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Karen Tan

Karen Tan

President & CEO
Child & Family Service

Talks covered by this speaker


Sitting at the Executive Table

Categories covered by Karen

Connect with Karen

About this Speaker

President and CEO of Child & Family Service (CFS) Karen Tan, LCSW, is a fierce yet empathetic leader whose bold vision brings hope to Hawaii’s families and children statewide, while ensuring CFS’ impact is relevant and meaningful. Karen is a changemaker, raising awareness of Hawaii’s social issues, and collaboratively working with business leaders, lawmakers and other nonprofits to solve our state’s most pressing and complex issues for families and children.

Karen’s guiding vision is HOPE; concepts of humility, ownership, perseverance and engagement. These pillars are infused throughout every aspect of CFS, and something each employee holds close. Karen embodies these concepts, relying on them to lead CFS, a 123-year-old organization that touches more than 75,000 lives annually. Overseeing a $32-million budget, nearly 400 staff and dozens of programs statewide while ensuring accountability, Karen charts the course for CFS to help individuals and families prevent and heal from trauma such as poverty, abuse, and neglect. She remains at the forefront of trends and best practices, while engaging private funding to bring innovative approaches to care for Hawaii’s families and communities.

Notably, Karen has brought Results Based Accountability (RBA) to measure CFS’ program impact and uses the data to inform and course correct when needed. Under her leadership, CFS implemented a groundbreaking, anti-poverty model of care – Transition To Success™ – into its vast array of programs. Transition To Success™ treats poverty as a condition, not a character flaw. This model currently is being scaled across CFS programs statewide and is proving that the cycle of intergenerational poverty can be successfully treated and eliminated.  


Karen’s refreshingly transparent leadership naturally brings people to the table, establishing her as a trusted catalyst for positive change within Hawaii’s social service industry.

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