Ambassador Karen Kornbluh has helped shape public policy since the early days of the commercial Internet as a public servant and diplomat. 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.
Today, she continues that work as leader of the Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, to ensure technology supports democracies around the globe.
She was confirmed unanimously by the US Senate to serve as US Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris during the Obama administration. There, she spearheaded the first global Internet Policymaking Principles, gained OECD agreement to provide open access to its data, and launched the OECD Gender Initiative.
She served in the Clinton administration as both deputy chief of staff at the US Treasury Department and director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Federal Communications Commission, negotiating 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 points in her career, including as executive vice president at the global data firm Nielsen, where she launched the Nielsen Foundation.
Kornbluh chairs the boards of Radio Free Europe and the Open Technology Fund. She has held numerous fellowships, including at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she was the senior fellow for Digital Policy, Mozilla, the Center for American Progress, and New America. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.