Karen Scian holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Waterloo, a Bachelor of Education from Western, and a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads.


Karen was first elected as a Waterloo City Councillor in 2006, serving the citizens of Ward Two for two terms as their voice at City Hall. Karen's tenure at city hall was an exciting and rewarding one, as she proudly served as the first female council liaison to Waterloo Fire Rescue and as the city's first female Finance/Budget Chair. 


Karen Scian believes that an open and transparent government is the foundation of a healthy community. While on city council, Karen spearheaded the City of Waterloo’s commitment to effectively engage with the public in new and exciting ways, by hosting innovative online events such as an All-Access Budget Town Hall, Twitter Town Halls, and working with the community to refresh the City of Waterloo’s Citizen Committees.

While on Waterloo City Council, Karen Scian was a Professor in Conestoga College’s School of Business, where she developed and taught courses in social innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship, and effective civic engagement. 

In 2014, Karen launched The TALENT Business Solutions, a local start-up focused on increasing the organizational capacity of municipalities, not-for-profits, and small businesses. As a small business owner, Karen understands the challenges many of our local business leaders face on a regular basis.

Karen is also trained as a Graphic Recorder, an exciting application of visual learning. 

Karen Scian is currently the Chair of the Board at the Waterloo Public Library, and the former Chair of the Board of Directors for Community Justice Initiatives (CJI), a local restorative justice organization. In April 2017, Karen was appointed by the Province of Ontario to the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network Board of Directors.

Karen is a member of Rotary Waterloo, serving as President (2017-18) of this local service club, known for their work with KidsAbility, Supportive Housing of Waterloo Region and many other local charitable organizations. 

Karen Scian has dedicated her adult life to serving the citizens of Waterloo Region in a variety of volunteer leadership roles:

  • Chair of the Laurelwood PS Parent Council

  • St. Mary’s Hospital Board of Directors

  • Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery Board of Directors

  • Waterloo Community Arts Centre Board Member

  • Waterloo North Hydro Board Member

  • KWCF Youth in Recreation Granting Committee

  • Leadership Waterloo, Youth on Board Mentor

  • City of Waterloo Federation of Canadian Municipalities Representative

  • City of Waterloo Economic Development Committee

  • ​City of Waterloo Audit Committee

  • City of Waterloo Community Cash Grants


Karen's interest in all things 'Waterloo' is reflected in her weekly column about local, community, and political issues in the Waterloo Chronicle.  Read her entertaining and thought-provoking columns here

Contact Karen

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