Ambassador Karen Kornbluh has helped shape policy as a public servant and diplomat since the early days of the commercial internet. The New York Times called her a “passionate and effective advocate for economic equality”, and she was named one of Washingtonian magazine’s top influencers. She leads GMF’s Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative (GMF Digital), which works to ensure that technology supports democracies worldwide.
Kornbluh was confirmed unanimously by the US Senate to serve, during the Obama administration, as ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). While there, she spearheaded the first global internet policymaking principles, led the effort to provide open access to OECD data, and launched the OECD Gender Initiative.
She served in the Clinton administration as deputy chief of staff at the Treasury Department and director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Federal Communications Commission, where she negotiated early internet policies. She was policy director for Senator Barack Obama and the author of his 2008 platform.
Kornbluh began her career as an economic forecaster at Townsend-Greenspan and worked in the private sector at various times in her career, including as executive vice president at Nielsen, the global data firm, where she launched the Nielsen Foundation.
Kornbluh chairs the boards of Radio Free Europe and the Open Technology Fund. She has had numerous fellowships, including at the Council on Foreign Relations, Mozilla, the Center for American Progress, and New America. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.