Karen Erika Donfried is the current President of the German Marshall Fund.
Early life and education
Donfried was born to Karl P. Donfried and Katherine E. Donfried. Her father was a professor of religion at Smith College, and her mother was the owner of an automobile parts company.
Donfried obtained her bachelor's degree in government from Wesleyan University. At Wesleyan, she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She later obtained her master's degree and PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and as well as a magister from the University of Munich. Donfried is fluent in German.
Donfried served for ten years as a European specialist at the Congressional Research Service. She joined the German Marshall Fund in 2001.
From 2003 to 2005, Donfried worked for the U.S. State Department's Policy Planning Staff. In 2005, she returned to the German Marshall Fund to serve as senior director of policy programs and later as executive vice president until 2010.
Afterwards, Donfried worked as the national intelligence officer for Europe on the National Intelligence Council. At NIO, she directed and drafted strategic analysis for senior policymakers.
After NIO, Donfried worked at the National Security Council as a Special Assistant to the President, and as the director of European affairs.
In April 2014, Donfried became the first female president of the German Marshall Fund.
- Council on Foreign Relations, Member
- American Council on Germany (ACG), Member
- Foreign Affairs Policy Board, Member
- Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA), Member of the Strategic Committee
- World Economic Forum (WEF), Member of the Europe Policy Group (since 2017)
- World Economic Forum (WEF), Member of the Global Future Council on the Future of Regional Governance
Donfried received the Cross of the Order of Merit from the German government in 2011, became an officer of the Order of the Crown of Belgium in 2010, and received a Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State in 2005 for her contribution to revitalizing the transatlantic partnership.
Donfried married in June 1988 to Alan Untereiner, a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.