Near Zero team
chair of the board
Karen Fries worked at Microsoft from 1987 to 2007 in both product groups and research, where she built, managed and worked with teams on a wide range of software products and technologies. Her main interest was on user interface design, in particular making software easier to use. One pivotal night during the reading portion of the classic long, drawn-out, putting-the-kids-to-bed routine, her young kids asked about a photo of a stranded polar bear in Science magazine, and Karen was drawn into explaining climate change. In less time than it took to get them to bed that night, she had decided to leave the software industry to both learn more and try to help with solutions. Karen received degrees in psychology and business from the University of Washington.