Karen Keane
Karen Keane

Karen Keane of Guilderland has been elected president of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LAOH) Inc., a national Irish Catholic women's organization and will serve a two-year term.

The LAOH’s motto is friendship, unity and Christian charity and has more than 10,000 members in 30 states. 

“I am honored to be elected president of this prestigious organization and I'm excited to be at the helm shaping the LAOH's next chapter,” Keane said. “During my tenure, I plan to grow the membership of the LAOH, for us to become more active on social justice issues such as a united Ireland and supporting veterans and their families, and to protect the Roman Catholic faith and its Church. I want to connect individual members with our national board, as well as to empower our members to reach out and communicate with us.”.

Keane - who joined the LAOH in 1998 as a member of JFK Division 1 in Albany - has worked for more than 22 years with the organization. She was elected to every office for the New York State LAOH board, including the offices of Catholic Action, Missions and Charities, Irish historian, treasurer, secretary, vice president and president. For the national board of the LAOH, Keane has been elected treasurer, secretary, vice president and now president. Her term as New York State LAOH president overlapped with her second year serving as the national LAOH treasurer and her first year as the national LAOH secretary. Keane also served as the Missions and Charities officer, secretary and treasurer for the Albany County LAOH and as the secretary and treasurer for her local division. 

Keane plans to bring more transparency, openness and fiscal responsibility to the organization while listening and engaging with the membership. Keane also intends to develop ad hoc committees including Immigration, Freedom for All Ireland, Veterans Affairs and Political Education as ways to become more involved in social justice issues.

“I could not have gotten to where I am today without the support and dedication of my Hibernian sisters,” said Keane, who lives in Guilderland with her son, daughter and nephew. “I am proud to be an Irish Catholic American woman and I feel honored to have been elected president of the LAOH.” 

For the first time in the LAOH’s 125-year history, its national convention and initiation of officers was held remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.