Karen Conard

City Manager

With more than thirty years of experience in the public sector, Ms. Conard has developed a unique network of connections and relationships. As Chief Administrative Officer, she oversees more than 800 employees and a $131 million municipal budget. 

Immediately prior to her arrival in New Hampshire municipal government, Karen served as Executive Director of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, one of 13 Regional Planning Agencies in Massachusetts. In this capacity, Karen and her team assisted the 5 cities and 10 towns in her region in the planning areas of transportation, environment, land use, economic development, housing and GIS mapping.  In addition, she previously held senior leadership roles in the Cities of Methuen and Peabody MA, MassDevelopment, the MA Office of Business Development, the MBTA, the Office of Governor William Weld and the MA State Senate.   

Having joined the Portsmouth Rotary Club upon arrival, Karen recently joined the Rotary Board of Directors. In addition, she serves on the Coordinated Response to Substance Use Disorder Task Force. She also serves as a Director, Charitable Foundation Member and the first female member of the Executive Committee at The Savings Bank. 

Karen received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French from Duke University. A proud resident of the City’s West End, Karen is married to Robert, a high school carpentry teacher, and is the proud mom of three wonderful young adults.

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