ACEF Speaker 2021

Karen Freeman

Acting Assistant Administrator of the Bureau For Asia,

Karen L. Freeman is the Acting Assistant Administrator for Asia.

A Career Minister with the U.S. Foreign Service, Ms. Freeman was previously the Assistant to the Administrator for the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs. Before that, she was the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA). Prior to that, she served as Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Kenya and the East Africa Mission. Before being appointed Mission Director in Nairobi, she was the Senior Deputy Mission Director in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Other Senior Management positions include the USAID/Ethiopia Deputy Mission Director from 2002 to 2005, during the height of the 2002 to 2003 humanitarian crises, when she directed delivery of more than $530 million in relief. She also served from 2006 to 2011 as USAID Mission Director in Zimbabwe, overseeing a program focused on ensuring the well-being of the people of Zimbabwe during the height of historic hyperinflation, political transition and violence.

Ms. Freeman began her career with USAID in 1983 in the Office of Central American Affairs. In 1990, she joined the International Development Intern program and served in USAID/El Salvador as the Deputy Program Officer. In 1994, Ms. Freeman was Deputy Program Officer in South Africa and Director of Program and Project Development in 1998. She moved to USAID/Uganda as Chief of Program and Project Development from 2000 to 2002.

Ms. Freeman holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Boston University and a Master in Science Degree in Strategic Policy Making from the National War College.


  • Opening Plenary: Clean Energy for Green Recovery and Carbon Neutrality