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College of Mount Saint Vincent Alum Takes Leadership Role at Pfizer


Karen Boykin-Towns, Class of 1987, Promoted to Chief Diversity Officer

Riverdale, NY – Karen Boykin-Towns, a 1987 graduate from the College of Mount Saint Vincent will begin her new role at Pfizer as Chief Diversity Officer on August 1, when she will become a member of Pfizer’s Human Resources Leadership Team. Her current role as Senior Director/Team Leader in U.S. Public Affairs and Policy has led to the company’s highly successful government relations and public affairs activities in New York, New Jersey, and Delaware.

Ms. Boykin-Towns began her career at Pfizer in 1996 as a Senior Legislative Analyst in Government Relations and has since held numerous positions of increasing responsibility in Worldwide Public Affairs and Policy including developing strategies addressing the US environment and working with non-traditional allies. She is known to be a highly effective leader with a drive for results, compassion, and an infectious enthusiasm.

She graduated cum laude in 1987 with a degree in business from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Since graduating from the Mount, Ms. Boykin-Towns has held several high profile positions. She worked with then-Senator Patterson, now NY State Governor, for six years, eventually becoming his chief of staff. She then went on to become deputy director for the then-New York State Senate Democratic leader, Fred Orenstein. Ms. Boykin-Towns held that position for three years while earning her Master of Business Administration degree from Baruch College.

Raised by her mother in Harlem, Ms. Boykin-Towns takes an active role in her community where she serves as member of the National Board of Directors for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and President of the Brooklyn Branch of NAACP. She served as an At-Large Delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention and Platform Committee member to the 2000 Democratic National Convention. In 1999, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani appointed her to serve as a member of the 1999 New York City Charter Revision Commission.

Her many honors include: The 2007 New York State Women of Excellence Award; Independent Sector “Alumni Hall of Distinction Award,” granted by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu); 2006 YMCA Harlem Branch Black Achievers in Industry Award; 2003 National Black Caucus of State Legislators Corporate Round Table Award; and in 1997, the College of Mount Saint Vincent Outstanding Young Alumnae/I Award. She is married to Assemblyman Darryl C. Towns (D-Brooklyn) and lives in Brooklyn with their daughters, Jasmine and Trinity