Karen Brevard Stewart is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service. Her previous post was as the Political Advisor to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
A native of Florida, Ambassador Stewart joined the Foreign Service as an economic 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. She has served as Ambassador to Belarus and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
In Washington Ambassador Stewart worked in multiple bureaus including: Office of Fisheries Affairs, Office of Energy Consuming Countries, Office of Israel and Arab-Israeli Affairs, and as Director of the Office of Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus Affairs. Ambassador Stewart was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and subsequently Special Advisor to the Director General of the Foreign Service.
Ambassador 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. She has studied Thai, Lao, and Russian with the State Department.
Ambassador Stewart 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. In 2011 she received the Presidential Meritorious Service Award.