Karen Goldberg received her A.B. degree from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. As an undergraduate, she pursued research projects with Professor Roald Hoffmann at Cornell University, Professor Stephen Lippard at Columbia University, and Drs. Tom Graedel and Steven Bertz at AT&T Laboratories. She then went on to the University of California at Berkeley where she earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry working with Professor Robert Bergman. Following a postdoctoral year with Professor Bruce Bursten at The Ohio State University, she joined the faculty at Illinois State University, a primarily undergraduate institution in Normal, IL, in 1989. In 1995, she moved to the University of Washington (UW) as Assistant Professor of Chemistry. She was awarded tenure at UW and rose through the ranks to full Professor. In 2007 she became the first Raymon E. and Rosellen M. Lawton Distinguished Scholar in Chemistry, and in 2010 she became the first Nicole A. Boand Endowed Professor of Chemistry. She served as Director of the first National Science Foundation-funded Phase II Center for Chemical Innovation (CCI), the Center for Enabling New Technologies through Catalysis (CENTC) from 2007-17. In 2017, she moved to the University of Pennsylvania as a Vagelos Professor of Energy Research and became the inaugural Director of the Vagelos Institute of Energy Science and Technology (VIEST). In 2018, Professor Goldberg was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.