Karen Abrams appointed program director for equitable development

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KAREN ABRAMS

The Heinz Endowments has appointed Karen Abrams program director for equitable development.

Abrams, who most recently was manager of diversity and community affairs for the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, starts her new post at the foundation Dec. 14, focusing on infusing equity into redevelopment funding initiatives in the Pittsburgh region.

According to the Endowments, Abrams will help develop and implement a range of grant-making to support investments in neighborhood-level projects and city and regional initiatives, collaborating to support the foundation’s three strategic areas; creativity, learning, and sustainability. She will also help in coordinating community development grant-making in specific communities, including the Hazelwood, Homewood and Hill District neighborhoods.

Abrams graduated from the University of Virginia in 1993 with a degree in history. She earned her master’s in Sustainable Systems from Slippery Rock in 2010. She also holds a professional certificate in Project management from Villanova University.

Prior to joining the URA in 2011, Abrams served as a sustainability intern with the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, and on the boards of G-Tech Strategies and Uptown Partners, and as a consultant for DJ Demo Contracting. While at the URA, Abrams also won a Loeb Fellowship to the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

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