Karen Gifford is COO of Ripple Labs, global leader on distributed financial technology. Previously, she worked in the financial industry, first as an attorney in the private sector and at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where she was Counsel and Officer in the Litigation and Enforcement Group. Her work at the New York Fed included the successful defense of a claim by the Central Bank of Iran for over $1 billion and co-heading an investigation into misconduct in the sales and trading of leveraged derivatives at Bankers Trust. She later worked as a consultant at Promontory Financial Group, advising global banks and financial companies on regulatory issues and conducting investigations.
Alongside her legal and consulting career, Karen began meditating in a yoga tradition more than fifteen years ago, initially as a means of coping with the stress of her legal practice. Her executive coaching work incorporates meditation and mindfulness practices, placing a strong focus on the importance of inner skills such as detachment and resilience for effective leadership. She also teaches meditation, with an emphasis on bringing the insights of meditation into everyday life. Karen is active in the start-up world as a founder, investor and advisor. She holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and an A.B. from Vassar College.