Karen is Executive Director of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). ASTMH, located in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, and founded in 1903, is the largest international scientific organization of experts dedicated to reducing the worldwide burden of tropical infectious diseases and improving global health. The Society accomplishes this through generating and sharing scientific evidence, informing health policies and practices, fostering career development, recognizing excellence, and advocating for investment in tropical medicine/global health research.
Karen oversees all aspects of the Society’s efforts that include the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; the CTropMed®- Certificate of Knowledge in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Travelers' Health; the ASTMH Annual Meeting that attracts a global audience and is widely considered the premier meeting in tropical medicine; and a portfolio of activities that includes awards and research opportunities, policy development, advocacy, communications, and membership.
Karen has testified before Senate Appropriation Subcommittees, making the case for strong tropical medicine research funding, and is a frequent moderator of Hill briefings on a range of science policy issues. She’s authored letters to the editor published in The New York Times and The Washington Post and has been quoted in The Hill. In addition to the GHTC steering committee, she serves on the board of the Global Health Council. Previously, she served on the board of the Campaign for Public Health.
Prior to joining ASTMH in 2010, Karen was Vice President of Public Health Partnerships at Research!America, an advocacy alliance located in Alexandria, Virginia, that works to make research to improve health a much higher national priority. She expanded the organization’s national public health research advocacy efforts and established its first global health research advocacy program that included the Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research, named for the late Honorable Paul G. Rogers.
An experienced presenter knowledgeable in the translation of complex issues for decision makers, media, and public, Karen has led national and local workshops for the science community that focus on innovative advocacy using strategies designed to help nonscience audiences better understand the value and importance of a strong US investment in research.
Earlier positions included executive roles at the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association, both in Chicago. She received a Master of Social Work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts, St. Xavier University in Chicago.