The World Food Prize Foundation


Hon. Karen Chandler

Director, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

Karen R. Chandler is the Director of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM), a position she has held since September 2021. She is responsible for programs that address the threat of landmines and unexploded ordnances and strengthen U.S. national security by preventing illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons, including man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS). Karen is a career member of the Senior Executive Service. Previously, she served as the director of the interagency MANPADS Task Force in PM, and from 2015-2019, she was the PM Chief of Staff, where she was responsible for strategy coordination and operational management of the bureau. Other assignments at the U.S. Department of State include two tours on Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan, the Office of the Special Representative to Muslim Communities and the Counterterrorism bureau. Karen also served as the Staff Director for the Transportation Security Administration’s Office of Global Strategies from 2013-2015. From 2008-2009, Karen served on the White House’s National Security Council staff as a Director for Combating Terrorism. Karen joined the U.S. Department of State as a Presidential Management Fellow. She earned her M.A. in National Security Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and has a B.A. in Human Biology from the University of Kansas, her native state.

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