Karen Silva

Professor + Department Chair,  College of Hospitality Management

Contact Information
This industry is growing, which makes it a great choice for students. It’s not just a job. It’s not even a career — people who excel in this industry understand that it’s a lifestyle.”


Prior to becoming chairperson of The International Hotel School at Johnson & Wales University, Karen Silva served as project director, External Affairs; director of advising; director of education and chairperson for the Center for Sports/Education/Event Management.

Her work experience includes serving as a curriculum specialist for The Travel Institute, assistant sales director for Collette Vacations, and a consultant conducting presentations for such organizations as Carnival Cruise Lines, The Miami Heat, the X Games, the Professional Association of Innkeepers and Landmark Medical Centers.

Author of numerous industry texts and training publications, Silva’s other distinctions include serving on the boards of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau and FirstWorks, as well as receiving the Faculty of the Year accolade, the Innovation in Teaching Award from International Council of Hotel Restaurant Institutional Educators (ICHRIE) and the designation of Master Teacher.

She received her doctorate from Boston University, her master’s degree from Rhode Island College and her bachelor’s from UMass Dartmouth.

Sample Courses

  • HOSP 4060: Hospitality Strategy Design and Execution Seminar

Professional Memberships

  • Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2007-present
  • FirstWorks, 2008-present
    Board of Directors
  • American Hotel Lodging Educational Institute/National Restaurant Association, 2016-present
    Chairperson, Academic Advisory Board
  • American Association of University Women, 2015-present
  • International Council on Hotel Restaurant Institutional Education (ICHRIE), 2012-present