Audubon Louisiana is pleased to welcome Karen Profita as the organization’s new Executive Director and Vice President for the National Audubon Society. Profita will lead the state office,now in its fifth year of operation, in advancing coastal restoration and landowner engagement through its involvement in Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition and the Rainey Conservation Alliance. Profita will oversee key programs and initiatives that advance conservation for the good of birds and people, including coastal stewardship, on-the-ground science, supporter engagement, education and outreach, climate change adaptation initiatives, and more.
Officially assuming her new role on May 30, Profita will also guide the management of the Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary in Vermilion Parish, Audubon’s oldest sanctuary, in existence since 1926.
“Visiting the Louisiana coast, the changes and threats to our environment are obvious,” said Profita. “I look forward to joining such a prestigious organization with a long history of in-state conservation to preserve the coast and other areas that provide vital spaces for birds, wildlife, and the people of Louisiana.”
Since November of 2013, Profita served as the Executive Director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board under the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. In this capacity, she focused on expanding the sales of Louisiana seafood through retail and restaurant co-marketing programs, as well as helping improve industry technologies and processing.
“We are extremely excited to have Karen join the Audubon team and lead Louisiana’s state office into the future. Our state office and its mission will greatly benefit from her passion for Louisiana and her decades of marketing and fundraising experience for important causes,” said Douglas Meffert, Audubon’s Vice President of Gulf Coast and Mississippi Flyway and former Audubon Louisiana Executive Director. “Through her work on the Seafood Board, she has become an expert on Louisiana’s coastal economies, which are integrally tied to Audubon’s conservation and restoration efforts here in state and across the Gulf of Mexico.”
Profita has spent most of her career in leadership and fundraising for nonprofits. She previously served as the CEO of Capitol Area United Way in Baton Rouge, where she was recognized by the Baton Rouge Business Report as one of the “10 Most Influential Women in Business.” She also worked as Senior Vice President for Children’s Miracle Network, where she supported the 170-member hospital network by securing $53 million a year for children’s hospitals worldwide.
Profita earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Louisiana State University and a Master’s of Health Service Administration from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL. She has participated in the Baton Rouge Chamber Leadership and the Council for a Better Louisiana Leadership programs.