We Have You Covered 

We know marketing, finance, accounting, logisitics and management. We have PhDs in all of that, plus real-world experience as consultants and business leaders with Fortune 500 companies. We have worked on Wall Street, Main Street and in government offices from the White House to the SEC. We have specialized knowledge in nearly every industry, from energy to entertainment. We speak Chinese, Spanish, Turkish and more than a dozen other languages. We have networks that span six continents. We attend key events and read the latest books, newspapers and journals. We are the thought leaders at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

About the Editor 

Karen Johnson came to the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business after a 20-year career in newspapers. She has written and edited for publications in the U.S. and Canada, including The Wall Street Journal, Canada’s Globe and Mail, the McClatchy Newspaper Company, the Detroit Free Press and the Associated Press. She earned a Pulitzer Prize for her role in editing the Panama Papers, a global investigative reporting project coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

She is passionate about storytelling and education. Editing Smith Brain Trust, she says, is the perfect merger of those two passions. “Every time I speak to our professors, I can’t help but ask, ‘What else are you thinking about or working on these days?’ They have great answers.” 

She loves stories that educate, enlighten and challenge assumptions. She appreciates how good storytellers — and good professors — can take complex, wonky issues and make them accessible and engaging. “I’m continually impressed with the tremendous expertise of the faculty at the Smith School,” she says. “To be able to dream up a business topic, and have some of the world’s foremost experts in their offices a few steps away, you can’t beat that.”

Karen moved from Toronto to Maryland’s rural western Howard County three years ago with her husband and their two children. They now have two Labrador retrievers. She insists she does not want to raise chickens, already, no matter how many times you ask. Email her at kjohns38@umd.edu with questions, comments or story ideas.

Subscribe Today 

Subscribe to Smith Brain Trust and get our bite-sized business insights delivered weekly to your inbox. Business moves fast in the 21st century, but we have you covered.



Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park MD 20742