Karen Christensen | CEO and Founder

Karen Christensen in Great Barrington, September 2012Karen Christensen is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Berkshire Publishing Group and a writer specializing in sustainability and community with a focus on China. Karen went to high school in the Silicon Valley and moved to London after graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981. She worked for Blackwell Science and the T. S. Eliot Estate (“Dear Mrs. Eliot” a memoir about working with Valerie Eliot, was a cover story in the Guardian Review) before writing a bestselling environmental handbook. Karen returned to the United States in 1992 and became a publisher herself, developing worldwide networks in fields including leadership, community, sports, international relations, and Asian studies. She was elected to the board of the Content Division of the Software & Information Industry Association and to the National Committee on US-China Relations, a group of political, business, and academic leaders. She frequently speaks and writes about publishing technology, intellectual property and copyright, and the book and ebook industry.

From Midwestern roots to a life in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and New York City, Karen has been ahead of the curve on issues ranging from green and local lifestyles to the importance of online networking and global entrepreneurship. Often traveling to China for business and pleasure, she specializes in international community building and global education. Beginning as a speaker on women’s issues for the UK Green Party when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister, Karen has worked with consumer and research groups, and has spoken to women all over the world about products and services, and about their priorities and values. She is the creator and publisher of the 10-volume Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability, the definitive educational resource written by 1,000 expert authors and now being translated into Chinese. Her own environmental books, for adults and children, have been published in the UK and the United States translated into French, German, Swedish, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and both traditional and simplified Chinese, and she was senior editor of the 4-volume Encyclopedia of Community, published by SAGE.

Karen, who worked as a chef and caterer during college and loves to cook for family and friends, is currently developing an online platform for everything connected with eating Chinese as well as a major Encyclopedia of Chinese Cuisines.

Articles

How Amazon.com is hurting readers, authors, and publishers

Interview: “Berkshire Goes to China” -Publishers Weekly

Tenaciously Tackling Copyright and LicensingOnline Searcher

Don’t Steal This Book” –Library Journal

“Let’s Circulate Knowledge”Library Journal

“Seeing the forest: why publishers and readers need to take a fresh look at print and online publishing to create a sustainable information industry”UKSG Serials

“Dear Mrs. Eliot”Guardian Review

“Marvin Mudrick and His Chickens”

Seeing the WorldBerkshire Savant

Read Karen’s updates at the Berkshire Blog and at Twitter. Many of Karen’s articles are available from the links here. Read Berkshire’s 2014 catalog by clicking here.

Interviews with Karen

Encyclopedia of China in World
Journal
newspaper May 2009

Interview in Booklist September 2009
Interview in Business Quarterly 2010
Interview in Library Journal: It’s the Content, Stupid!
Interview: “Berkshire Goes to China” Publishers Weekly July 2008
Interview in BusinessWeek: “CEO’s Tech Toolbox”
Profile in Against The Grain February 2010
Profile in The Women’s Times September 2008
Interview with CEO bloggers in the Washington Post September 2006
Profile in Working Woman, April 2001
Berkshire China publications in Reference Reviews UK, 2010
Berkshire profile in Beijing Today November 2009

Books by Karen

2010 – The Business of Sustainability co-editor
2009 – Berkshire Encyclopedia of China co-editor
2007 – Global Perspectives on the United States co-editor
2006 – Heart of the Community: The Libraries We Love co-editor
2005 – Encyclopedia of World Sport co-editor
2004 – Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World co-editor
2004 – The Armchair Environmentalist
2002 – Encyclopedia of Modern Asia co-editor
2000 – Eco Living
1995 – Rachel’s Roses
1995 – The Green Home
1989 – Home Ecology

Read Karen’s daily updates at the Berkshire Blog and at Twitter. Many of Karen’s published articles are available from the links here.