SKDC Leader Cllr Kelham Cooke said: "Karen has a wealth of experience, particularly in terms of driving change and generating growth that will be a real benefit to our district. She knows the area very well, having been Deputy Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer at North Kesteven District Council for four years before moving to Gedling Borough Council as Chief Executive in 2018. I look forward to working with Karen as we take forward SKDC's ambitious growth agenda to deliver for our residents, our businesses and our communities."
Karen Bradford was one of five candidates, shortlisted from a total of 17, interviewed over a two-day period via a rigorous process of panel and one-to-one interviews.
Karen said: "I am honoured to have this opportunity to help shape the future of South Kesteven District Council at such an exciting time. I look forward to joining the team shortly and building on the excellent work that has already started to maximise the opportunities to grow the district in a sustainable way that ensures we deliver what residents, businesses and investors want and need."
Karen joined Gedling Borough Council as Chief Executive in October 2018, becoming its first female chief executive
Karen started her Local Government career at Nottingham City Council in the 1980s. She has worked across the country in Lancashire, Staffordshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. Karen has held a variety of roles throughout her career, starting in leisure and moving to economic development, transformation, major capital construction projects, housing and planning.
Before joining Gedling Karen worked at North Kesteven District Council in Lincolnshire as Deputy Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer, overseeing development within the surrounding district. She ledan extensive and transformative investment programme across leisure and cultural services and in the sphere of economic development, planning and housing development.
Currently Karen is the National General Secretary of the Association for Public Service Excellence and is Police Area Returning Officer-elect for the Nottinghamshire Police & Crime Commissioner elections to be held in May 2020.
Some of Karen's spare time is spent volunteering as the Chairman of the Trustees for a Multi-Academy Education Trust in Lincolnshire (which includes two extremely high performing grammar schools), where her passion and focus for excellence and high performance creates an environment to support students to achieve their full potential.