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Karen Coyne
Former Vice President and Global Head of Environment at Novartis


For nearly 30 years, Karen’s career has been focused where business, ESG, and enterprise risk management priorities meet. She is an adept leader who has advanced the integration of these issues and how they fit with business strategy. Karen is currently focused on bringing sustainability, ESG, and enterprise risk management perspectives to the board room and corporate governance.

Karen is the former Vice President and Global Head of Environment for Novartis, the Swiss-based global pharmaceutical company, where she built and led the new corporate function for sustainability and the environment. Karen also held two prior global leadership roles in Novartis at the division level in Health, Safety, Environment and Business Continuity.

Prior to Novartis, Karen served as a Strategic Advisor at the International Center for Enterprise Preparedness at New York University (NYU) focused on international security, terrorism, business preparedness, and resilience. 

Before NYU, Karen was Vice President at a startup firm specializing in sustainability, EH&S and security auditing and assurance. Karen began her career at a consulting and engineering firm, working with Fortune 500 clients providing management consulting, auditing and compliance services across their global operations.

Karen earned a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Massachusetts and a M.S. in Natural and Environmental Resources Management from the University of New Hampshire and is a Certified Professional Environmental Auditor (CPEA®). Karen is an experienced board director and board chair with service on a for profit board and several non-profit boards. She has lived and worked internationally and currently resides outside Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Agenda Sessions

  • Panel Discussion - Complexity of ESG: Assessing the interplay between strategy, governance and climate risk