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Karon Jolna


Karon Jolna

CSW Research Scholar since 2004


Research Interests: women, diversity and leadership; preparing the next generation for leadership; pedagogy and online education..





Dr. Karon Jolna is a nationally known lecturer and consultant on women and leadership.  As a program director and scholar, Dr. Jolna is focused on building an innovative bridge between academia and top women executives and their organizations in every sector of the economy.  Dr. Jolna has helped manage and moderate Women and Leadership programs at UCLA and USC Annenberg and she has presented her work at dozens of universities and conferences across the nation – all at a moment in history when women have just attained the majority in the workforce and continue to shatter the “glass ceiling” in politics and government, the arts and academia, business and finance.

For the past several years she has served as Director of Ms. in the Classroom, driving revenue and expanding the program to hundreds of universities across America.  She also helped to build a strong committee of distinguished scholars to advise Ms. in the Classroom and provide a powerful academic underpinning for the program.

At UCLA, Dr. Jolna developed and taught the first “Women and Leadership” course, featuring diverse senior women leaders from NBC-Universal, AT&T, Merrill Lynch, O’Melveny and Myers LP, WNBA Los Angeles Sparks, Deloitte LP, The Feminist Majority Foundation, Ms. Magazine, Dolores Huerta Foundation, L.A. City Hall, and the United States Congress. The course featured women executives’ inside stories on their journeys to the top of corporate and public organizational leadership.  The class became one of the most matriculated women’s studies courses at UCLA, and was featured in several publications, including Ms. Magazine, “A Roadmap for Leadership.” See:

Dr. Jolna has been a Research Scholar at the UCLA Center for the Study of Women since 2004.  With the support of the CSW, she is completing a book based on her interviews with diverse women leaders about how they turned work and life challenges into successes – and are making a difference.

Dr. Jolna was among the first wave of scholars to earn a Women’s Studies Ph.D. in North America from Emory University, focusing on women leaders and diversity in the corporate workplace.  Today, she is also taking her work and passion for leadership issues impacting women and society to a place where students increasingly live:  Online.  Dr. Jolna’s work has provided an opportunity to break new ground, developing, teaching and marketing innovative digital curriculum designed for use in the classroom of the future.  And she is successfully bringing women leaders with her - to the head of the online class.  And to university programs that showcase the economic, political, and social significance of women taking the reigns of leadership across the nation… and around the globe.

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