Caren drives Polaris’s efforts to tell the story of how human trafficking works and to inspire a wide range of audiences to become part of the movement to end it. She joins Polaris from West End Strategy Team, a boutique public relations and communications firm that works with nonprofit organizations and issue campaigns. As a vice president, Caren led the firm’s federal advocacy work, building and implementing campaigns for individual organizations and coalitions around issues including gun violence prevention, public lands conservation, payday lending reform, maternal and child health, and immigration.
Before joining West End Strategy Team, Caren worked for several years with labor and progressive organizations on economic and social justice issues.
Notably, she was the Executive Director of Americans United for Change, a progressive advocacy organization specializing in rapid response and hard-hitting communications and accountability strategies. Launched originally to challenge President George W. Bush’s efforts to privatize Social Security, Americans United has played a leading role in issue campaigns working toward an end to the war in Iraq, passage of President Obama’s stimulus package, and health care and Wall Street reform, among other issues.
Earlier in her career, she served as an advisor and speechwriter for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, designing and implementing communications strategies for Democratic lawmakers in electorally vulnerable districts. She also worked as press secretary for Sen. Bob Graham of Florida and has served as a communications strategist at the AFL-CIO and at Vanguard Communications in Washington, D.C.
Prior to entering the political arena, Caren was a reporter with the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Associated Press in Washington, New York, and Nevada covering state government and politics, the judicial system, and health and medicine.
Caren received her Master’s in Journalism from Northwestern University, and a BA from Colorado College.