Karen Brevard Stewart is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service. She has served since February 2010 as Special Advisor to the Director General of the Foreign Service. Prior to that, Ms. Stewart was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
In July President Obama nominated her to be U.S. Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and she was confirmed by the Senate on September 29.
A native of Florida, Ms. Stewart joined the Foreign Service as an economics officer in 1977. She has served overseas in Bangkok and Udorn, Thailand; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Islamabad, Pakistan; and as Deputy Chief of Mission in Vientiane, Laos and in Minsk, Belarus. Her last overseas posting was as Ambassador to Belarus.
Her Washington assignments have included: international relations officer in the Office of Fisheries Affairs, economic officer in the Office of Energy Consuming Countries, and economic/commercial officer in the Office of Israel and Arab-Israeli Affairs. She was also the Director of the Office of Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus Affairs in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.
Ms. Stewart graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. with honors in astronomy and economics from Wellesley College and pursued further studies in astronomy at the University of Virginia. In 1998, she received an M.S. in National Security Strategy from the National War College of the National Defense University.
Ms. Stewart has studied Thai, Lao, and Russian with the State Department. She is the recipient of Department of State Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards. In December 2007, the Department presented her its first Diplomacy for Freedom Award for her Embassy’s work in Belarus in support of democracy and human rights.