Rutgers Logo Rutgers University
Eagleton Institute of Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics


Eagleton Faculty, Staff and Visiting Associates


Karen J. Kessler is a recognized leader in the public relations industry and was in the first class of PR News' "Top Women in PR". Kessler is a founding partner and president of Evergreen Partners, specializing in reputation management, crisis communications and litigation support. She counsels private companies, public companies and individuals on sensitive issues ranging from legal inquiries, personnel matters, business practices and criminal and civil litigation. She was sought after as technical consultant to the television shows, The Good Wife and Nashville, and as an on-air reputation consultant to the NBC Today Show.

Kessler was the inaugural chairman of the board of trustees of AllSpire Health Partners, the nation's largest health consortium, and chaired the board of Atlantic Health System from 2008 to 2015. She currently serves on the board of directors of Northfield Bancorp, Inc., and was selected by the chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court to represent the public on the New Jersey Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct. In 2015, Kessler accepted the Thurgood Marshall "Award of Excellence" for outstanding achievement. She has been recognized as NJ BIZ's "50 Most Powerful Non-Profit Board Members", "50 Most Powerful Women", SmartCEO's "40 Top NJ Businesswomen", Jewish Women International's "10 Women to Watch in the USA" and NJ Monthlys "Leading Women Entrepreneurs."

Kessler graduated from Vassar College with a degree in economics and studied at the London School of Economics and Princeton University. In 1984 Kessler joined the American Stock Exchange and became the vice president of corporate communications.  In 1989 Kessler served as director of transition for the governor-elect of New Jersey. She served for six years as commissioner of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, the first woman appointed to the governing body of MetLife Stadium, Izod Arena, Meadowlands and Monmouth racetracks, and the Atlantic City Convention Center.  She has served on the boards of directors of:  CoVista, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of NJ, the PNC Arts Center, and the Drumthwacket Foundation. She is trustee for scholarship funds at both Princeton and Monmouth Universities.