Senior Advisor, Legal Affairs and Operations
Karen is an attorney, former US diplomat, and community advocate with decades of change-making experience in both the private and public sectors. After working as a litigator and corporate finance attorney at large, international law firms, she joined the United States Agency for International Development as a Foreign Service Officer where she served as Legal Advisor and Deputy Ethics Officer for the United States diplomatic corps in east and southern Africa and the Caribbean. While living in Nairobi, Kenya and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, she trained, counseled, and collaborated with US and foreign ambassadors, ministers and dignitaries, as well as low-income single mothers, CEOs, students, and civil society leaders.
Karen ensured compliance with, and developed regulation and policy related to, USAID’s grant-making and procurement processes. As Senior Investment Advisor for USAID’s Office of Development Credit, she helped female entrepreneurs secure non-traditional sources of funding and helped negotiate favorable loan terms with local financial institutions.
She taught External Development Finance to MBA candidates at The George Washington University School of Business and taught financial literacy to local teens. She was a Support Partner for women transitioning from poverty to financial independence and advised community leaders on ways to improve race relations in public schools.
Karen earned her Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service and Juris Doctor degrees from Georgetown University.