Karen Ashley

(MSIE 1991)
Outstanding Industrial Engineer (2017)
As the head of Cisco Corporate Development Integration, Karen drives some of the company's most innovative and impactful initiatives, including key multi billion dollar acquisitions such as Jasper and AppDynamics, strategic partnerships, and an industry recognized M&A Integration team and practice. Karen is responsible for the strategic and operational programs for dozens of global acquisitions, joint ventures, divestitures, and strategic partnerships to advance Cisco's buy, build, and partner strategy. Leading a 250+ person cross functional team, Karen is focused on delivering full value from acquisitions and partnerships to enable new business models, expand technical capabilities, acquire new talent while transforming Cisco's business. In this role, Karen continues to evolve a world class integration team and methodology focused on end to end engagement from customer offer and GoTo Market to employee and customer experience. As a leader, Karen creates the vision and culture that attracts, develops and retains a premier team of adaptable strategic integration professionals across the value chain. With a focus on best team and people planning, Karen is proud of the diversity of backgrounds and skills she has brought together across the enterprise. As the executive sponsor for Cisco's Chief Strategy Office Gender Diversity Initiative, Karen brings together a group of professional women and men focused on inspiring, developing, and advocating for women and women's leadership. In her previous role, as Vice President, Product Operations for Cisco's Supply Chain, Karen led the product introduction and life cycle management for the Service Provider customers. She has delivered on complex operations solutions focused on time to market, margin, quality and delivery. Karen is a leader in supply chain diversity as founder of iWise, inspiring Women through information sharing and experiences. Prior to joining Cisco in 2000, Karen held various management and engineering positions at Lucent Technologies and AT&T. Karen has a MS degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and a BS degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the proud mother of a college-aged daughter and son whom she has raised and continues to enjoy with her husband, David.