Dr. Karen McGraw

Combine performance detective, entrepreneur, and researcher, and you get Karen McGraw, Ed.D. Dr. Karen McGraw is a human performance practitioner, solution designer, and mentor/coach, and the president of Silver Bear Group. She is a trusted adviser to leaders on solutions to improve the value of their most important asset--their people. Her personal mission is to improve organizational effectiveness and eliminate barriers to peak performance, enabling individuals, teams and organizations to deliver better results. Clients trust her to select, design, and implement tailored learning and performance solutions that address critical issues, engage stakeholders in project success, and deliver long-term results. Dr. McGraw's career as a human performance practitioner, consultant, learning specialist, and researcher spans industries including healthcare, financial and insurance, technology, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, logistics, mining, professional services, and oil/gas/energy, as well as non-profits and government. 

Dr. Karen McGraw began her business career ensuring the cognitive effectiveness of educational software tools and managing knowledge engineering in Texas Instrument's AI Lab. Her groundbreaking research in knowledge acquisition techniques resulted in publication of her first book, Knowledge Acquisition: Principles and Guidelines (Prentice-Hall). Heeding her entrepreneurial spirit, Dr. McGraw founded and led Cognitive Technologies, a consulting firm specializing in improving how people think, learn and work, until its successful acquisition in 2012. She has gained deep business and customer relationship insights through Director-level positions at RWD Technologies (now GP Strategies), Saba, and Loral. Concurrently, she was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Texas, Arlington (where she conducted research in requirements for AI systems) and the University of Maryland. A warm, engaging teacher and natural researcher, Dr. McGraw has contributed to the success of many performance consultants, professional change agents and knowledge engineers through her contributions to the fields of human performance improvement (HPI), change management, AI, and requirements engineering.

Dr. Karen McGraw holds a doctorate and a master's degree from Texas Tech University in the fields of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Psychology, where she specialized in the impact of technology on cognition and learning. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston, where she studied social psychology and education. She is credentialed in the use of personality assessment tools such as the Golden Personality Type Profiler and the Myers-Briggs. Dr. McGraw is a co-author of Performance DNA (an HPI methodology), the Scenario-based Engineering Process (McGraw & Harbison, and User-Centered Requirements: The Scenario-Based Engineering Process (LEA), and is the author of EASE, a practical organizational change management methodology. She designed, developed and facilitates ATD's Improving Human Performance and Master Performance Consultant programs. She has published 6 books and over 50 articles or white papers on topics ranging from knowledge engineering and performance support, to employee collaboration, change management, and performance improvement.

Dr. Karen McGraw lives in Austin TX with her husband and rescued pets, where she volunteers on behalf of animals, the environment, and her church. She is a citizen of Chickasaw Nation and a member of ATD and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation