Biography: Karen Howard, CEO and Executive Director of Organic & Natural Health Association, is a visionary and results-focused leader who has spent more than 30 years working with Congress, state legislatures and healthcare organizations to develop innovative healthcare policy and programs. She has held a variety of executive positions, including serving as professional staff for a Congressional committee, and has policy expertise in the diverse areas of integrative and complementary medicine, managed care, healthcare technology and mental health. An advocate at heart, she has worked to strategically advance the mission and vision of organizations through effective advocacy and strong collaboration.
Entrepreneurial by nature, Howard has successfully built organizational capacity and brought both nonprofit and for-profit organizations success. Prior to joining Organic & Natural Health Association, she served as president of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), where she managed the NASC Quality Seal Program, a voluntary compliance program for manufactures and distributors of pet supplements requiring adherence to the association’s GMPs, participation in a national adverse event reporting system and a bi-annual audit. Prior to that, Howard served as executive director for both the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) and the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools. During her nearly 10-year tenure at AANP, she built a sustainable infrastructure, significantly improved financial performance, established a strong federal presence and supported multiple state association advocacy efforts for licensure. Also during this time, the naturopathic medicine profession established itself as a key component of comprehensive healthcare for the future. Howard also serves as a senior contributing editor with Virgo Publishing for Petfood 2.0, a forum for the exchange of ideas about the science supporting the evolution of the multibillion-dollar natural pet industry.