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Karen Gordon Mills served in President Barack Obama's Cabinet as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration from 2009 until August 2013. At SBA, she led a team of more than 3,000 employees and managed a loan guarantee portfolio of over $100 billion. At the height of the Great Recession, she took steps that led to record-breaking years for SBA lending and investments in growth capital.
Mills is currently a Senior Fellow at both the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School, where she is part of the entrepreneurship faculty. She is a leading authority on U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Mills is the author of the new book Fintech, Small Business & the American Dream. The book covers her latest thinking on how big data and artificial intelligence will change the game for lenders and small business owners, and create new challenges for regulators. She is also the author of a number of Harvard Business School white papers and publications.
Mills is a venture capitalist and the President of MMP Group. She also serves in leadership roles for several policy organizations, including as Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Main Street Finance Task Force and as a Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is a Member of the Harvard Corporation and a past Vice Chair of the Harvard Overseers.
Mills earned an AB in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. She is a recipient of the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award, and is a frequent guest on news outlets, including Bloomberg TV and CNBC, with recent op-eds in American Banker, Forbes, Inc, The Hill, and Harvard Business Review.