Prior to joining WSP USA, Karen served as deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) from 2011 to 2014, and as the FRA's chief counsel from 2010 to 2011. During her tenure, she was a key participant in the FRA's $12 billion high-speed rail grant program, including the $3 billion investment made by the FRA in the delvelopment of California's high-speed rail system and the $3 billion improvement program for Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.
Karen also supervised the FRA's Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program, which was established to provide direct loans and loan guarantees up to $35 billion to finance the development of railroad infrastructure. As deputy administrator, she served as a board member of Moynihan Station Development Corporation in New York City and Union Station Development Corporation in Washington, D.C.
Karen holds a law degree from Georgetown University and a bachelor's degree from Harvard University.