Karen J. Hanrahan was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in August 2012. Her portfolio includes the Office of African Affairs and the Office of International Labor Affairs, as well as gender and security and human rights issues.
Ms. Hanrahan began her work under the Obama Administration working with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as the U.S. Coordinator for International Assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan. She went on to design and run the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (the QDDR) for Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Ms. Hanrahan recently served as the Chief Innovation Officer for the UK Department for International Development (DFID), on detail assignment in London.
A lawyer by training, Ms. Hanrahan has spent over 15 years working in and on fragile and emerging countries for the U.S. Government, the United Nations, NGOs and the private sector. She specializes in human rights, rule of law, security sector reform, gender, and protection, as well as strategic planning and organizational change. From 2004-2006, Ms. Hanrahan served as the State Department’s Senior Rule of Law Coordinator in Iraq and Senior Consultant to the Iraqi Minister of Human Rights. Prior to this, she served with USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives in Iraq as the Senior Advisor on Human Rights and Transitional Justice. Ms. Hanrahan went on to serve as Vice President for International Peace and Stability in a Fortune 500 company, leading a large-scale organizational change effort and travelling around the world to integrate human rights, rule of law and security assistance.
Ms. Hanrahan is an alumna of Harvard Business School and University of Washington School of Law. She has studied Arabic and French.