Karen M. Schaefer

former Associate Executive Assistant Director, National Security Branch, FBI

Karen M. SchaeferKaren M. Schaefer held numerous leadership positions within the Central Intelligence (CIA) during her 26-year career, with overseas assignments as an operations officer in Latin America, Europe, Afghanistan and Iraq (where she served as Chief of Base).  Her headquarters positions included Chief of Operations, Directorate of Science and Technology; Deputy Associate Director of Military Affairs; Deputy Chief of Counterintelligence, Near East Division; Executive Assistant to Deputy Director CIA; and Group Chief, Iran Operations Division. She also served as Director of Intelligence Programs at the National Security Council (NSC), where she managed the President’s covert action programs.  She closed out her government career as the Associate Executive Assistant Director (AEAD) of the National Security Branch, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Director’s Senior CIA Representative. She holds a BA in Spanish and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, and her awards include the Presidential Rank Award, Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the CIA Director’s Medal for Extraordinary Fidelity and Essential Service, the United States Special Operations Command Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, and two Director of National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medals. She sits on the advisory boards of the International Spy Museum and Third Option Foundation.  Most recently she served as the Policy Lead for the Biden Transition Team Central Intelligence Agency Review Team.