President Biden nominated Dr. Karen A. Stout to be a member of the National Council for the Humanities, a board of distinguished private citizens appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The board advises the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.
Stout is president and CEO of Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national nonprofit dedicated to student success for all, especially low-income students and students of color. More than 375 institutions make up the ATD network that Stout leads. In 2018, Stout received Diverse's Leading Women Award for her higher education leadership and innovation. She is also an Achieving the Dream Leadership Coach and Aspen Institute Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence faculty contributor and mentor.
Before ATD, Stout was president of Montgomery County Community College for more than 14 years from 2001 to 2015. There, she worked to strengthen student success. The College's Board of Trustees in 2015 granted her President Emerita status in honor of her service. A frequent writer and speaker, Stout continues to focus on enhancing student success and completion as well as building a new era in community college fundraising.