Karen Shaw Petrou
Karen Shaw Petrou is a powerhouse in the power center of America. She is co-founder and managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics, a Washington, D.C. consulting firm specializing in domestic and international financial services regulation.
It’s not unusual to see Karen moving swiftly through the halls of Congress or attending meetings at the White House. She is a force to be reckoned with—American Banker described Karen as the “sharpest mind analyzing banking policy today – maybe ever.”
What makes Karen’s success story even more fascinating is that in an industry dependent on dense research reports, detailed data charts and colorful graphs, Karen has been progressively losing her eyesight to the inherited disease known as Usher 2A.
Rarely limited by her blindness, Karen has provided expert testimony before Congressional committees at least a dozen times and has authored over 100 articles on the global banking system. She is a regularly featured speaker at banking and financial services conferences.
Karen credits her two Fidelco German Shepherd guide dogs – first “Ori” and now “Zuni” – as the keys to her successful and fast-paced travels throughout Washington and across America. According to Karen “…Fidelco [guide] dogs have made a tremendous difference in my life.”
Diagnosed at 18 years old and told that she would be blind by 25, Karen forged ahead with a life of accomplishment. Following her life-long love of ballet, she was a member of the studio group supporting the renowned Alvin Ailey Dance Company. After graduating from Wellesley College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Berkley, Karen worked in banking and traveled with a white cane, but the pace was too slow for her—she recognized that only a guide dog would provide her with the increased mobility, speed and independence she required. Karen researched guide dog organizations and identified Fidelco as the best fit because of its In-Community Placement training method.
Because of Karen’s respect for Fidelco’s mission and the profound contributions that Ori and Zuni have made to her life and career, Karen joined Fidelco’s Board of Directors in 2014, stating, “I’m excited to be part of Fidelco’s mission. I am very grateful to Fidelco for the training and love that goes into raising guide dogs. It’s really heroic.”