Karen Volker is the Director for Strategic and International Partnerships at Cure Violence, an international NGO that uses a health approach to interrupt and stop the spread of violence in communities by using methods and strategies associated with disease control – detecting and interrupting conflicts, identifying and treating the highest risk individuals and changing social norms.
It is a teaching, training, research and assessment NGO focused on a health approach to violence prevention. The Cure Violence health model is used by more than 50 cities and organizations in the U.S., as well as eight countries ranging from Canada to South Africa to Syria. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, Karen Volker plays a key role on strategic planning, developing strategic partnerships, and pursuing opportunities to expand the Cure Violence global footprint.
Prior to joining Cure Violence in January 2012, Ms. Volker spent over 25 years in the U.S. Foreign Service. Immediately prior to retiring from the State Department, Ms. Volker was the Chief of Staff for the (then) new Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions. From 2009-2011, she was the Deputy and then Director of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a $500 million program that supports civil society organizations in the Middle East and North Africa.
Earlier Foreign Service assignments included the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy, U.S. Stability Pact Coordinator, and Special Assistant in the Coordinator’s office for transitions in both the former Soviet Union and in Central and Eastern Europe. Overseas assignments included Budapest, Brussels, and London.
Karen Volker has devoted her professional life to promoting pluralism and democracy, defending human rights, and preventing violence. As Director of Strategic and International Partnerships, Ms. Volker interacts with donors, policy-makers, and other NGOs on behalf of Cure Violence and represents Cure Violence at national and international events and meetings.
Karen has a MA in international affairs from The George Washington University.