Karen Florini is Vice President for Programs at Climate Central, where her roles include developing and implementing communications strategies that reach and move large U.S. and global audiences as well as key decision-makers. In addition, she leads the integration of Climate Central’s program efforts, and oversees the creation and distribution of the group’s products to the public and thought leaders.
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. During 2017, Florini was a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Martin School of the University of Oxford.
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.