Executive Director, Metro21
Karen Lightman is Executive Director of Metro21: Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Karen’s experience spans from economic development to leading worldwide coalitions based on emerging technologies. Recognized as a leader in the MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) industry, Karen helped start and led the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG), the largest industry consortium solely focused on MEMS and sensors. Under her leadership, MSIG covered every sector of the MEMS value chain and successfully orchestrated several international conferences, workshops and tradeshows. Karen led the successful acquisition of MSIG by SEMI, the world’s largest semiconductor association. Karen has expertise with commercializing academic research, building industry-based consortiums and strategically leading teams to explore market-based opportunities. Her diverse background spans the consumer, military, healthcare, manufacturing, and automotive sectors. Karen is ranked by EETimes as one of the top 25 “Women in Tech.” She is a passionate advocate and spokesperson for her field, an internationally recognized keynote speaker and overall authority on the MEMS industry.
Karen has a BA from the University of Vermont (UVM) and a MS in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. She and her family reside in Pittsburgh, PA.