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Thumbnail of TSAE Past Chairman Karen Johnson Passes Away

June 8, 2016

It is with great sadness that we share the news that former TSAE Board chairman Karen Johnson passed away Sunday night. Karen had been diagnosed with ALS last year. She joined TSAE in 2000 and served as our chair in 2012-13.

Karen was an attorney who practiced both private law and served as a Texas assistant attorney general. She was close to those at the Capitol, having served as a special assistant in the Governor’s office and in the Comptroller’s office for Bob Bullock. Karen was the first woman to serve as president of the Travis County Bar Association and the first woman to hold the position of executive director of the State Bar of Texas. More recently, she was the CEO of United Ways of Texas and a legislative consultant. Read more about Karen in our 2012 magazine profile.

"Karen loved life and life loved Karen. I had the privilege to be her friend and she was my mentor. We first met in the late ’70’s when she was one of the star lawyers in the Legislative Council, helping lawmakers draft legislation that is law today. In recent years, we served together on the TSAE Board of Directors where she dedicated her skills and insights to help countless individuals advance their careers while simultaneously guiding our association into the future. Karen was a rare individual who will be missed and can never be replaced.”
Bill Keese, CAE
2015-16 TSAE Board Chairman
Executive Director, APRO

Memorial services will be held Monday, June 13 at 1:00 pm at St. David’s Episcopal church in Austin. Reception to follow at the Austin Club.