Karen Cochran is the Interim Vice President for Advancement and Interim CEO of the UCF Foundation, Inc. In this role she is responsible for leadership, coordination, and oversight of all fundraising and alumni engagement activities for the university, including major, planned and annual giving, corporate and foundation relations, development operations, and campaigns. Additionally, she manages a personal portfolio of major donors. She serves on the President’s Cabinet, providing strategic guidance to key academic leaders. She also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the UCF Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which manages foundation resources, including considerable real estate holdings; and assists the volunteer board of directors in guiding the foundation’s affairs.
A graduate of West Virginia University where she was first introduced to the possibility of a career in philanthropy, she has served both public and private institutions. Prior to serving in this acting role, she was Senior Associate Vice President for Advancement at UCF. Cochran has also held senior development positions at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) where she partnered with key physicians, faculty and scientists to solicit and close transformational gifts.
She received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from West Virginia University and a master’s degree from Western Maryland College. A lifelong student of change management, she also completed the Hopkins Fellows in Change Management program.
Cochran and her husband, Steve reside in Winter Park with their daughter, Gabriela and rescue dog, Mylie.