New executive director joins Del Mar Foundation

After a 10-month search, the Del Mar Foundation has hired Karen Wilson as its new executive director.

“The Del Mar Foundation is at an exciting place in its 30-year history,” said Foundation President Carolyn Kling, “and we searched with great care to find the right candidate to help take us forward. Our goals are to further build the endowment and significantly increase grant funding in the community. The executive director position is a leading key resource for the foundation as we continue to explore and identify opportunities to fulfill our mission.”

A Del Mar resident since 2005, Wilson has a unique combination of for profit and nonprofit business experience. She most recently worked as a senior account executive for the Center for Creative Leadership, an international, nonprofit education and research institute committed to advancing the understanding, practice and development of leadership globally. Prior to this she ran her own business, a national award-winning service dedicated to the moving needs of elderly people. This business, located in Germany, enabled her to live out her belief that you can be profitable and serve your community.

Prior to running her own business, Wilson managed the international press relations for the City of Berlin’s 2000 Olympic bid, major benchmark conferences for an international management consultancy, and corporate sponsorships of world sports and cultural events.

Wilson has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and a master’s degree in leadership studies with a specialization in nonprofit management from the University Of San Diego (USD). She is a member of Del Mar Toastmasters, the World Trade Center, the German-American Chamber of Commerce, and the Institute of Management Consultants. She speaks German fluently. Her extensive travels have opened her mind and heart to diverse cultures with a particular fondness for their cuisines.

Of all the places lived and visited, Wilson appreciates the beauty and character of Del Mar the most.

“This is my town of choice – as much for the wonderful people as for the beautiful environment. I feel fortunate to be part of this vibrant community and look forward to working closely with volunteers and donors on behalf of Del Mar,” Wilson said.

Wilson can be reached through the Del Mar Foundation at or (858) 635-1363.

The Del Mar Foundation is the community’s oldest nonprofit. It promotes civic pride and cohesiveness, acquires and preserves open space, improves Del Mar beaches and parklands, raises and grants funds, and sponsors diverse cultural programs and community events for the benefit of its residents and visitors.