Karen Florini is Vice President for Strategic Impact at Climate Central, where her roles include strategic engagement with key non-media audiences including NGOs, governments, educators, and businesses. She also leads Climate Central's work on climate-and-health issues.
From April 2015 to January 2017, Florini served as Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State. In that capacity, she helped lead the Global Climate Change Initiative, a whole-of-government mechanism for integrating climate change into foreign assistance. She also led the State Department’s engagement with businesses, state and local governments, and civil society in the climate negotiations context. In addition, she headed the State Department’s portfolio on short-lived climate pollutants, which included overseeing U.S. participation in the multilateral Climate and Clean Air Coalition, co-chairing the Coalition’s Oil/Gas Methane Partnership, and chairing the Arctic Council’s Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane.
Previously, Florini spent more than 25 years at Environmental Defense Fund, where among other responsibilities she was Managing Director for International Climate and led the Environmental Health Program. Her combined 30-plus years of service on non-profit boards included 18 years as a Trustee of Oberlin College. She earned a bachelor’s degree with majors in biology and environmental policy at Oberlin, and a J.D. at Harvard Law School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Environmental Law Review.