With an impressive background in geomorphology, watershed management, and spatial modeling, Karen has dedicated her career to bridging the gap between science and policy. She holds university degrees from Canada and The Netherlands, and her doctoral research focused on decision support systems for integrated coastal zone management.
With over two decades of experience at the European Commission, Karen has held various influential positions, championing areas such as food systems and nutrition, sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, and responsible research and innovation. Her expertise also extends to sustainable urban, land, and coastal management, as well as multi-actor and public engagement in science.
Currently, Karen leads the Food 2030 initiative at the Directorate General for Research and Innovation. As the Deputy Head of Unit of Bioeconomy and Food Systems, she is responsible for shaping EU research and innovation policies that drive sustainable, healthy, and inclusive food systems.