A member of the Maryland General Assembly for some thirteen years, Karen Montgomery would serve as a Maryland State Senator from 2011-2016, a Maryland State Delegate from 2003-2011, and a true unsung heroine for the Maryland General Assembly.
Born in Middletown, New York, Montgomery and her family would move to Maryland where she would graduate from Western High School in Baltimore. She’d go on to Towson University graduating with a degree in science education before pursuing and receiving her graduate education at George Washington University (M.F.A., 1976).
Montgomery would embark on a career in education, arts, and public administration serving in a number of capacities including as a Faculty Member of the Fine Arts Department at George Washington University (1974-1987), the Executive Director of the Art Barn Gallery (1982-1985), Public Programs Coordinator for the National Building Museum (1985-1986), Assistant Director of Development for the National Rehabilitation Hospital (1987-1989), Director of Development for the Olney Theatre Center (1989-1994), Executive Director of Arts for the Aging (1994-1996), and Director of Personal Giving for the Arthritis Foundation (1996-1999).
Montgomery would begin her career in public office upon her election to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2002. She’d serve there as a member of the Environmental Matters Committee (2003-2006) and the Health & Government Operations Committee (2007-2011) ultimately Co-Chairing the Electronics Recycling Work Group of the Environmental Matters Committee (2004) and as President of the Women Legislators of Maryland (2008-2009). She’d leave the House in 2011 upon her election to the Maryland Senate.
Montgomery’s time in the Senate would be highlighted by numerous positions of responsibility including service as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Program Open Space and Agricultural Land Preservation (2015), Co-Chair of the Environment Subcommittee of the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee (2015-2016), and as a member of the Maryland Veterans Caucus (2005-2016), the Joint Committee on Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Areas (2015), and the Joint Committee on Children, Youth, and Families (2011-2015).
For her legislative efforts, Montgomery was awarded multiple recognitions including the Phyllis Campbell Newsome Public Policy Leadership Award from the Center for Nonprofit Advancement (2009) and a Certificate of Appreciation from the Maryland Municipal League (2008).
Due to difficulties with her vision, Montgomery resigned from the Maryland Senate on January 1, 2016, having represented her community in the Maryland General Assembly for some thirteen years and making a lasting impact that will be felt for many years to come.