Karen Cochran, CFRE

Interim Chief Executive Officer, Interim Vice President for Advancement

Karen Cochran is responsible for leadership, coordination and oversight of all fundraising and alumni engagement activities for the university including major, planned and annual giving, corporate and foundation relations, development operations and campaigns. Additionally, she manages a personal portfolio of major donors. Cochran also serves as the Interim Chief Executive Officer of the UCF Foundation Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which manages foundation resources including considerable real estate holdings and assists the volunteer board of directors in guiding the foundation’s affairs. She also serves on the President’s Cabinet, providing strategic guidance to key academic leaders. 

A graduate of West Virginia University where she was first introduced to the possibility of a career in philanthropy, Cochran served both public and private institutions. Prior to serving in her current role, she was Senior Associate Vice President for Advancement at UCF. Cochran has also held senior development positions at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) where she partnered with key physicians, faculty and scientists to solicit and close transformational gifts. 

Cochran received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from West Virginia University and a master’s degree from Western Maryland College. A lifelong student of change management, she also completed the Hopkins Fellows in Change Management program.

Cochran and her husband Steve reside in Winter Park, Fla., with their daughter, Gabriela, and rescue dog, Mylie.