Karen Brooks Hopkins
Senior Fellow in Residence, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Former President, BAM, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Karen Brooks Hopkins was BAM’s president (where she worked since 1979) from 1999 until her retirement in June 2015. As president, Hopkins oversaw the institution’s 230 full-time employees and its multiple theaters and cinemas.
Hopkins has served as the Chair of the Cultural Institutions Group, has been a member of the Mayor’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, the New York State Board of Regents, and on the Boards of NYC & Company, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and the Global Cultural Districts Network.
Hopkins was appointed Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star from the Royal Dramatic Theater of Sweden, named Chevalier de L’Ordre des arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France, and awarded the King Olav Medal by Norway. She was designated a “Woman of Achievement” by the professional association Women in Development in 2013 and named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York” by Crain’s. Among the many honors BAM has received during her tenure is the 2013 National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and arts organizations by the US government; the Medal was presented to Hopkins by President Obama at a White House ceremony. In 2014, Hopkins was one of 10 esteemed business leaders appointed to the inaugural Crain’s Hall of Fame.
Her widely read book, Successful Fundraising for Arts & Cultural Organizations is currently in its second edition. A graduate of the University of Maryland, she received her MFA from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Hopkins resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and is currently the senior fellow in residence at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a newly created position which she accepted upon her retirement from BAM.