Karen Colligan

Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Vice President

Owner, PeopleThink

San Fransisco, CA


Karen Colligan, founder and principal of PeopleThink, is a recognized expert in leadership, team effectiveness and organizational development. She partners with organizations in a variety of industries to develop and retain their most precious asset – their people.

An active volunteer with the Phoenix Society for many years, Karen is herself a burn survivor.  At age two, she received second and third degree burns from scalding bathroom tap water.  This experience has impacted her entire life, and inspired her to get involved in helping other burn survivors.

With a corporate background that includes creating and leading innovative people initiatives across the enterprise, Karen founded PeopleThink on the core belief that for companies to achieve competitive advantage, they must address the needs of their people as well as the needs of their business.   Since its inception, PeopleThink has delivered significant business results for numerous organizations including: AppFolio, BioMarin Pharmaceuticals, Citrix, Clovis Oncology, Genentech, mixpanel, the San Francisco Ballet, SAP and others.

Karen’s deep expertise and engaging presentation style have made her a popular keynote and motivational speaker at cross-industry venues, national sales meetings and corporate conferences.  Always on the lookout for innovative and results-oriented approaches, Karen is certified in a number of assessment tools, including Lumina Learning, a suite of next-generation assessment tools for organizational effectiveness.

Karen earned her BS in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco. She is a member of the Astra Women’s Business Alliance; Bay Area Organization Development Network (BODN); the Association for Talent Development (ATD); and Bay Area Consulting Network (BACN). PeopleThink is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE).

Karen is an avid runner, and has run twice so far for Team Phoenix in the Big Sur Half Marathon. She loves music, cooking, and bringing people together for good food. And as a Jersey Girl, one of her favorite getaways is relaxing at the Jersey Shore.