Former GMF Executive Vice President Appointed to Key Roles in White House and NSC
Dr. Karen Donfried, former executive vice president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), has been appointed special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council (NSC).
Donfried first joined GMF in 2001, and was a central figure at the organization as it more than doubled in size. After a stint on the U.S. State Department’s Policy Planning staff handling the Europe portfolio, Donfried returned to GMF in 2005, where she served as senior director for policy programs, and later as executive vice president from 2007-2010. She provided strategic direction to GMF’s programs and bolstered its continued work on U.S.-European relations.
“Karen will be a tremendous asset to the White House and the NSC. She has a deep knowledge of the transatlantic relationship and broad networks within the policy community throughout Europe. All of us at GMF are excited for her, and we look forward to working with her in her new role,” said GMF President Craig Kennedy.
The NSC advises the president on national security and foreign policy matters. The Council serves as the primary forum from which these policies are coordinated and implemented among various government agencies. Dr. Donfried will serve as the president’s principal advisor on Europe and lead the interagency process on the development and implementation of the president’s European policies.
Dr. Donfried completed a Ph.D. and MALD at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, a Magister at the University of Munich in Germany, and a bachelor’s degree at Wesleyan University. She has written numerous articles on German foreign and defense policy, European integration, and transatlantic relations. Before joining GMF, she worked as a European affairs specialist in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division of the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Donfried joins the NSC after serving as the National Intelligence Office for Europe at the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC).