Karen Seltzer is the board chair of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York and a passionate advocate for women’s healthcare and reproductive rights.

She has been an active member of Planned Parenthood boards and a strong advocate for over 15 years. She has extensive knowledge of how to manage nonprofit boards and an ability to collaborate and bring people together, which has helped to achieve meaningful results in the recent merger of five New York Planned Parenthood Affiliates.

Karen grew up in Great Neck where her family instilled strong philanthropic values with a desire to help others.

After graduating from Tulane University, she had a short career in retail before working in development where she honed her fundraising and volunteer management skills, setting the stage for a lifelong passion for volunteering.

She returned to Long Island where she and her husband Steven have raised their 3 daughters. Over the past 30 years, Karen has held many volunteer leadership positions in Port Washington; serving on the boards of The Community Synagogue, The Community Chest of Port Washington, and holding many leadership roles in the community including President of Parents Council of the Port Washington School District.

She also currently serves as board chair of the MB and Edna Zale Foundation in Dallas.

How do you define success?

Success in 2021 can be defined in so many ways. As a “stay at home” mother of three daughters, my goals as a parent have been to raise strong, independent women. Now that they are all in their 20’s, I believe that the volunteerism and work that I did while they were growing up modeled an option that is not often glorified.

When my family was young, we often participated in Community Service activities and were always doing what we could to expose our girls to the realities of the world that we live in while appreciating our lives and our riches.

Now that they are young adults, these daughters are all activists and Social Justice Warriors. They have each, in their own way, taken on leadership roles in community organizing, getting out the vote, education and other local issues and, not surprisingly, have marched for Women and Abortion Rights- both with me and in their own communities (including in Austin, Texas!)

My passions have taken me to places that I never could have imagined, introduced me to people I have such admiration for, and now, I have that admiration for my daughters. Success, to me, is seeing the results of my lifelong work and the impacts they have made.

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