Skip to Content
Krannert Purdue Logo

Krannert Executive Forum - Karen Burns

Karen Burns

Karen Burns

Executive Vice President
Indianapolis Zoo

Karen Burns, executive vice president and executive director of the Indianapolis Prize, has been with the Indianapolis Zoo since 1999.  She has direct responsibility for key management areas, including institutional advancement, membership, marketing, creative services, public relations, education, conservation and the Indianapolis Prize. 

In her role with the Zoo, Burns led the team that conducted a comprehensive rebranding of the Indianapolis Zoo from a much loved community attraction into a world-class conservation institution. 

Burns also heads up the Indianapolis Prize; a significant conservation initiative of the Zoo’s mission to empower people and communities to advance animal conservation. Established in 2005, the Prize has grown to become the world’s leading award for animal conservation awarding $250,000 to the winner and $10,000 awards to each of the five finalists.

Active in the community, Burns was named as one of IBJ’s Women of Influence in 2014.  She serves on the Board of the Kiwanis Foundation of Indianapolis, is President of the Downtown Indy Marketing Board and serves on the Downtown Indy Board of Directors.  She also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army Indiana Division.  Karen and her husband Rick Gevers live in downtown Indianapolis with one, very cranky cat.