Karen Rice Gardiner

Consultant and Former General Manager of Marketing @ Smithsonian Institution

Consultant and Former General Manager of Marketing, Smithsonian Institute
Karen Rice Gardiner is a senior marketing leader with expertise in strategic relationship management and creative direction. She has an extensive background in direct mail, catalogs, digital advertising, branding, social media marketing and campaign planning and analysis.

As the General Manager of Marketing at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC she promoted the musuems’ IMAX® theaters, stores and restaurants to 28 million visitors each year. She also ran the Group Sales and Ticketing Operations for the Retail Division. Prior to that Karen was the Director of Creative Services for the National Geographic Society. She oversaw 1000+ email promotions annually; 165 million mail pieces a year, including catalogs, direct mail packages, and renewal and billing programs; inserts; space ads; and digital media.

Karen has won numerous marketing industry awards, contributed to branding and marketing publications, and supports marketing education initiatives through local and national trade associations. Case studies from her work are featured in curriculum at several top-tier universities.