Karen was named the United Nations’ special adviser on the Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, to be held in the General Assembly this September. Her responsibilities include working and consulting with UN members and other relevant stakeholders prior to the Summit. She will also oversee the UN Secretary-General’s report on large movements of refugees and migrants.
A UN humanitarian official, Karen currently serves as a commissioner on the Independent Inquiry Commission on Syria. In 2005, she was appointed Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and served in that position until 2010.
Karen worked for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for 19 years, including as chief of mission in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war, including positions in Sudan, Namibia, and Sierra Leone. She also served in UNHCR’s Geneva headquarters, as chef de cabinet to the High Commissioner and as regional representative for the US and the Caribbean.