Judge Bios

Howze, Karen

Karen Aileen Howze was born and reared in Detroit, Michigan. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Hastings College of San Francisco, Ms. Howze worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Detroit, San Francisco, Long Island, New York and Rochester, New York. She moved to Washington, DC in 1981 to serve as a founding editor of USA Today. In 1988, she was named a news executive for Gannet Company, Inc. There she remained until she ended her newspaper career to rear her two children and to prepare for the adoption of their sibling. In June 1990, Ms. Howze launched a diversity management consulting firm specializing in media workforce and content diversity. Licensed in the District and Maryland, she opened a law office in 1991 focusing on Abuse and Neglect, and Mental Health law.

She added Probate, Special Education, Adoption and Domestic Relations matters in 1994 after she ended her tenure as a member of the journalism faculties at American and Howard Universities. Between January 2000 and June 2001, Ms. Howze served as Family Division Special Master with the task of bringing some 5000 cases into compliance with the Adoption and Safe Families Act. In July 2001, she joined the staff of the ABA Center on Children and Law as Director, Adolescent Health Programs, where she remained until her appointment as Magistrate Judge. Ms. Howze authored two books under the auspices of the ABA: Making Differences Work: Cultural Context in Abuse and Neglect Practice (1997) and Health for Teens in Care: A Judge’s Guide (2002). As an ABA consultant since 1996, she provided training to judges, attorneys and social workers throughout the country on cultural issues, and permanency and well being for children in care. A former board member of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, Ms. Howze has been active in the development of local and national policy and legislation related to children and families. She was a member of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Family Division Advisory Rules and Practice Standards Committee and co-chaired the Mayor’s Subcommittee on Adoptions. She serves on the Superior Court Probate Division’s Education Committee and is a member of the District’s Citizen Advisory Board on Child Welfare.

Ms. Howze has three daughters.