Karen Drennan

Associate Dean for Communications and Strategy, Chief of Staff

Karen Drennan



Karen’s career in marketing began during her undergraduate studies when she worked for the OU Center for Business and Economic Development conducting economic and demographic research and making forecasts for housing demand. After graduation she worked as a marketing assistant for a bridal gown designer/manufacturer before joining the ranks at the Dallas Arboretum, where she worked her way up to Director of Marketing. During her three and a half years at the botanic garden she implemented market development strategies that resulted in a 32% increase in annual attendance revenue and 21% increase in paid admissions; created a publicity campaign targeting niche markets able to visit the Arboretum during periods of historically low attendance, resulting in a 47% increase in mid-week ticket sales and setting new weekday attendance records; and increased concert ticket revenue by 45%.

Presently, Karen is the Associate Dean for Communications & Strategic Initiatives for SMU Meadows School of the Arts, where she is responsible for developing marketing strategy, managing a team of eight marketing professionals, allocating resources for client requests, analyzing marketing activity to determine effectiveness and creating innovative solutions that are cost effective and productive. Karen serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for Kitchen Dog Theater, the only National New Play Network member in Texas.


B.B.A in Marketing, University of Oklahoma
M.B.A in Marketing, Southern Methodist University