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Karen Spencer Kelly

Senior Counsel
fax +1 215.640.8501

Karen Spencer Kelly is building a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) practice which provides diversity auditing, counseling, training, and advisory services for corporate, government, private, and nonprofit clients. She is also a member of the Labor and Employment practice.

Prior to joining Clark Hill, Karen founded KESK Consulting which focused on diversity in all areas of need for her clients. She produced courses in diversity, equity, inclusion, unconscious bias, and belonging; dealt with crisis management; and advised clients about how to structure their businesses to advance their DE&I programs. As an attorney in the private sector, Karen founded a female, minority-owned law firm that concentrated in civil litigation defense at the trial level. On the appellate level, she drafted briefs for state and federal courts and argued orally before the Commonwealth, Superior, and Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania. She also served as an independent investigator of discrimination claims for government and private entities.

Karen was appointed by the Pennsylvania Treasurer and served as head attorney and counselor for the Treasury Department. She was a Senior Advisor to the Treasurer on policy and administrative issues. She managed the Office of Chief Counsel which functioned as counsel for the Department collectively, and its more than 400 employees. She also oversaw all Treasury litigation, contract negotiation, and union relations.

Karen has had extensive experience as a member of numerous nonprofit Boards of Directors and their Executive Committees. She was Chair of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, a Radcliffe Trustee, a Chestnut Hill College Trustee, and the first female, African-American president of the worldwide Harvard Alumni Association.


J.D., Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania, 1985
B.A., cum laude, Harvard-Radcliffe College, 1980


Selected as a Philadelphia Business Journal Diversity in Business honoree (2024)

State Bar Licenses