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Karen Niparko

City and County of Denver
Executive Director, Human Resources

Karen Niparko is the Executive Director of the Office of Human Resources for the City & County of Denver.  She oversees all aspects of the City’s human capital strategy including talent branding, recruitment, retention and rewards, learning & development, HRIS and analytics/innovation.  She sponsors the City’s biennial Employee Engagement Survey and employee top recognition programs.   In her role, Karen works closely with the Mayor’s office and City Council on behalf of human capital initiatives and her team is focused on talent acquisition, increasing employee engagement and retaining the best talent, performance excellence and innovation.  

Karen holds an MBA from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business, a BA from the University of Michigan and C-level executive programs at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  With her adult children, she chairs the Niparko Family Foundation, a charitable organization focused on self-sufficiency and education and the elimination of domestic violence and human trafficking. 

Karen speaks publicly on various strategic HR initiatives at conferences, publications and serves on the board of IPMA-HR, Denver HeadStart and a participating executive in the Bloomberg/Harvard University City Leadership Initiative with Mayor Hancock-Denver.  She is a committee member at the Rose Andom Center for victims of domestic violence.   She formerly served as a committee chair of the e-commerce committee of the Governor’s