At a Glance
- Career History: Director at Scotts Miracle-Gro; Director of Arrow Electronics; President of MMP Group (1993 to 2009)
- Birthday: Not Available
- Hometown: Not Available
- Alma Mater: A.B. (economics) Harvard University in 1975; MBA from Harvard Business School
- Spouse: Barry Mills
- DC Office: 409 3rd Street, SW; Phone: 1-800-827-5722
- Web site
Path to Power
Mills graduated from Harvard University with a degree in economics in 1975, and earned her MBA from the same institution. After college, she worked at McKinsey & Co., consulting in the U.S. as well as Europe. She has also worked at General Foods in product management.
In 1999, Mills joined a group of women to start Solera Capital. It's a New York venture- capital firm that invests in various businesses that produce natural and organic food, health-care companies and publishing firms. She worked as a managing director at Solera until 2007.
Obama tapped Mills to head the SBA in December 2008. She joined an effort to strengthen the U.S. economy as it struggled to reverse a massive downturn.
"To strengthen our economy, we must also strengthen the small businesses that are its backbone," Obama said when he announced Mills as SBA head, adding that he was "confident that Karen will lead an SBA that will not only help small-business owners realize their dreams, but help our nation rebuild our economy."
Mills served on the boards at Scotts Miracle Gro, along with the company's chief executive James Hagedorn and its COO Mark Baker. She also served on the board of Arrow Electronics, along with its CEO William Mitchell and the retired president and CEO of Shell Chemical, M.F. Keeth, as well as Colgate-Palmolive's chief financial officer Stephen Patrick. Mills worked with then-Maine Gov. John Baldacci (D).
She's married to Bowdoin College's president, Barry Mills.
Mills has donated more than $62,000 to various candidates on both side of the aisle since 1996. She donated $23,900 to the DNC Services Corp. in 2008.
Mills gave $2,300 to Olympia J. Snowe (Maine), top Republican on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, $5,600 to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), including $4,600 during his tough 2008 re-election race, and $4,600 to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) in 2007.