The Texas Women’s Foundation (TXWF) has appointed non-profit veteran Karen Hughes White as its new president and chief executive officer. The Dallas-based foundation, which advances economic security and leadership for Texas women and girls, said White has a 20-year record focusing on the needs of women, girls and children.


“After an extensive search, Texas is excited to appoint Karen president and CEO,” TXWF Board Chair Carrie Freeman Parsons said in a statement. “As we approach our 40th anniversary, she is the perfect combination of a strategic thinking, business-minded leader and team builder necessary to carry out our strategies and programs to move the needle on women’s equity in Texas. She is dedicated to lifting the voices of women and has a track record of working well with staff, boards, volunteers and donors.”

White, a University of Georgia graduate and a member of the Tri Delta sorority, previously was CEO of Dallas-based Tri Delta for nearly 10 years. Since her tenure at the global women’s fraternity and Greek life organization began in 2014, she increased engagement among the organization’s 250,000 collegiate and alumnae members worldwide.

Part of the increased engagement was due to initiatives focusing on diversity, equity, inclusion, access and belonging. White also helped grow Tri Delta’s Foundation, more than doubling its assets under management. According to its latest financial summary, the foundation had an investment portfolio valued at $22.3 million for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2023.

White’s LinkedIn profile says she led a team of more than 300 staff members and 3,000 volunteers at Tri Delta.

Before that, White served nearly three years as senior vice president of strategic partnerships for ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, based in the Greater Memphis area. There, she doubled the impact of the St. Jude Thanks And Giving Campaign and expanded the organization’s partnerships with premier sports leagues including the NFL and PGA.

She began her nonprofit career with Dallas-based Susan G. Komen, where she served nearly five years as managing director of sports and sponsorships with responsibility for Komen’s Race for the Cure and 3-Day for the Cure signature events.

“With support from donors and partners, Texas Women’s Foundation has made tremendous progress in its first 40 years, driving nearly $80 million in impact for Texas women and girls,” White said in a statement. “I’m honored to work alongside the organization’s dedicated volunteers and staff to build on that progress as we work to address the unprecedented challenges women fact in our state.”

White’s appointment is the culmination of a succession process that came in fits and starts. Beginning in 2011, the foundation had enjoyed a 10-year period of stability under president and CEO Ros Dawson Thompson. After Dawson stepped down in January 2022, business and social-impact veteran Miki Woodard succeeded her the following month.

Woodard resigned in March of 2023, however, and Foundation Chief Strategy Officer Dena Jackson took on responsibility for some operational matters and some CEO functions. Meantime, a national search for a permanent president and CEO was being conducted by Victory Search Group. Jackson then left the foundation in January, and foundation Board Member Hattie Hill assumed the role of executive-in-residence/interim CEO.

The foundation said White, who will start her position on Monday, April 29, will give brief remarks the next day at its annual Leadership Forum and Awards Celebration at the Omni Dallas Hotel.