Karen Florini
Former Deputy Special Envoy on Climate Change in the Obama Administration

Karen Florini has just completed two years as the Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change at the US Department of State. In that capacity, she helped lead the Global Climate Change Initiative – the Obama Administration’s whole-of-government mechanism for integrating climate change considerations into foreign assistance. She also led the State Department’s engagement with businesses, state and local governments, and civil society in the climate negotiations context.

In addition, she headed the State Department’s portfolio on short-lived climate pollutants, which included overseeing US participation in the multilateral Climate and Clean Air Coalition, serving as co-chair of the Coalition’s Oil/Gas Methane Partnership, and chairing the Arctic Council’s Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane.

Previously, Karen spent over 25 years at Environmental Defense Fund, a prominent US-based nongovernmental organisation, where among other responsibilities she served as Managing Director for International Climate and led the Environmental Health Program. Her 30-plus years of service on non-profit boards includes 18 years as a Trustee of Oberlin College.  She earned a bachelor’s degree with majors in biology and environmental policy at Oberlin, and a J.D. at Harvard Law School, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Environmental Law Review.