Speakers: Karin Abercrombie and Anna Engstrom Patel

December 15th at 7:00 PM

The audience will learn how Sweden has evolved from a country of exploring traders to today´s capitalist welfare state and equal society with the first pronounced feminist government in the world. The presentation will seek to explain how the welfare state has shaped a country that consistently ranks as one of the most innovative and happiest countries in the world. 

Karin Abercombie

Karin Abercrombie was born in the US to Swedish parents but she grew up in Gothenburg. Karin has a financial and operational management background and was a management consultant for 15 years, until 2006 when she became the Executive Director for the Swedish American Museum in Chicago. Karin had been involved with the Museum for about 10 years prior to this, serving on the board’s exhibit committee during the creation of The Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration. She was also a board member between 2003 and 2006. 

During the 15-year period that Karin has been the Executive Director, the Museum has strengthened its position in the community and work with the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, SACC, SWEA, and many other Swedish-American local organizations. Her tenure has seen the renovation of the building’s lobby and façade, the purchase of a parking lot to increase ease of access to visitors, the replacement of the iconic Andersonville water tower, and the purchase of a neighboring building to expand the Museum’s cultural programming capacity.  

Ms. Abercrombie serve on the board of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, honorary board member of Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce Chicago and is past board member of Swedish Council of America, SWEA Chicago and Chicago Cultural Alliance. 

Karin was appointed as Honorary Consul of Sweden and head of the mission in Chicago in 2019.      

Honorary Vice Consul Anna Engstrom Patel 

Anna Engstrom grew up in Täby, a suburb of Stockholm. She has a master´s degree in social science from Stockholm University. As part of her degree, she spent a year abroad as an ERSAMUS student in Regensburg, Germany.  

After graduation she joined Svenska Handelsbanken in Stockholm where she worked as an assistant to the bank´s international Head of Credit and later as a business system manager for the bank´s equity back-office systems. Since she is fluent in German, she later on started a new career track and joined the bank´s corporate banking side at the bank´s German head office specializing in Cash Management. For three years she was responsible for Cash Management sales, support and development in what was at the time called the Mid-Europe division which included Germany, France, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and Austria. Anna transferred to New York in 2004, and started working as Vice President responsible for Cash Management. After five years with Handelsbanken in New York she relocated with her family to Chicago. 

Anna has been working for the Swedish Consulate in Chicago since 2015. The work includes supporting Swedish citizens living or visiting the US as well as promoting Swedish business and culture. The Consulate in Chicago is responsible for the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.  

Anna currently serves as a member of the Swedish American Museum in Chicago board and has previously served on the boards of SWEA International, SWEA Chicago and Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce Chicago.