Karen Nystrom Meyer

Vermont Governor Jim Douglas and Karen Meyer
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas and Karen Meyer

Time Period

1940 to Today

Notable Facts

Served as Commissioner of Housing and Community Affairs under Governor Madeleine Kunin. Was the Executive Director of the Vermont State Medical Society, a role that made her the first woman executive of a state medical society in the United States. Served as Vice President for State, Federal and Community Relations at the University of Vermont from 2003-2012.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

01/21/1949

Primary Residence

Colchester

Ethnicity

Caucasian

Historical Significance

Karen Nystrom Meyer served as Commissioner of Housing and Community Affairs under Governor Madeleine Kunin. From 1988 to 2001, she was the Executive Director of the Vermont State Medical Society, a role that made her the first woman executive of a state medical society in the United States. She currently is Vice President for State, Federal and Community Relations at the University of Vermont.

Karen Meyer was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, grew up in Washington, D.C. and attended the University of Vermont, where she received a BS in Geography. Meyer worked as a staff person for Congressman James Jeffords from 1979-1983 and served as the director of several non-profit agencies such as RSVP, Dental Health Council, and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. She became Commissioner of Housing and Community Affairs in 1985, where she worked to increase the availability of affordable housing for Vermonters. She resigned as Commissioner in 1987 and was appointed as a special consultant to Governor Kunin on growth and development issues. She left that position in 1988 to become the Executive Director of the Vermont State Medical Society. In this role, Meyer was the first woman executive of a state medical society in the United States and was instrumental in establishing the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care. In 2001, Meyer was appointed the Executive Assistant to the President of the University of Vermont President, Edwin Colodny, and served as his chief-of-staff. The following year, Meyer became Vice President for State, Federal and Community Relations at the University of Vermont, a position she continues to hold today. Meyer has served on the Board of Directors for Key Bank and the Vermont Community Foundation, as well as being a trustee for the University of Vermont.

Organizations or Movements

  • Association of American Colleges and Universities
  • University of Vermont Board of Trustees
  • Board of Directors, Key Bank
  • Vermont Community Foundation
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Board of Directors
  • Vermont Medical Practice Board

Occupations

  • Commissioner of Housing and Community Affairs, State of Vermont during Kunin administration
  • Staff person for Congressman Jeffords
  • Director of RSVP, Dental Health Council, Vermont League of Cities and Towns
  • Executive Director of the Vermont State Medical Society
  • Vice President for State, Federal and Community Relations at the University of Vermont
  • Executive Assistant to UVM President Edwin Colodny

Education

  • BS in Geography, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont (1970).

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Cheng, Barbara. Trailblazers: Vermont Women and Leadership Development. Burlington, VT.: Queen City Printers, 1988.

  • Colodny Appoints Executive Assistant Link

  • Tribute to Karen Nystrom Meyer Link

  • Karvelas, David. Kunin aide quits for lobbying job. Burlington Free Press 09Feb1988: B1.