Woman's National Democratic Club

Karen Pataky

As Director for Public Policy and Political Action, Karen Pataky is responsible for developing and advocating for public policy positions on local, national and international issues. She serves as chair of the Public Policy and Political Action Committee, which consists of task forces that develop and act on issues in their particular policy areas. 

Karen worked as a nurse practitioner for 40 years. Highlights of her career include serving as Director of Quality Assurance and Risk Management at Planned Parenthood of Metro DC for 20 years, while also providing direct patient care and teaching as an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University for 15 years in both clinical practice and bioethics. She developed a syllabus and trained Peace Corps medical officers for 10 years, and served on the DC Board of Nursing, heading a task force that established the first rules and regulations governing nurse practitioners’ practice. 

In 1989, Karen received WUSA’s One and Only 9 award “in recognition for Outstanding Volunteer Service to HIV/AIDS Patients and their Families.” She is a lifelong member of the ACLU and the ADA. Karen has been a proud progressive Democratic activist since 1960, active in presidential campaigns and movements for civil rights, against the Vietnam War, for reproductive choice, and for AIDS awareness and compassion.  She served as the WNDC Vice President for Public Policy and Political Action from December 2014 to June 2017.