Ms. Karen Aguilar , a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, rank of Minister-Counselor, joined the Foreign Service in 1980, serving first with the United States information Agency (USIA) and then the Department of State.
Ms. Aguilar has extensive experience in security issues, civilian-military affairs, counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, law enforcement, and public diplomacy. From 2010 - 2012 she served as a professor of International Relations at the U.S. Army War College. From 2009-2010, she was the Political Advisor to the Commanding General of Joint Forces Command and to the NATO Supreme Allied Commander - Transformation, both headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. From 2008 to 2009, she was the Director of the Iraq Transition Assistance Office in Baghdad, responsible for assisting the transition of reconstruction and capacity-building to the government of Iraq. From 2006 to 2008 she was the Director of the Office of Pakistan and Bangladesh Affairs at the State Department. From 2005 to 2006, she was the senior State Department representative to the National Counterterrorism Center, Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning. From 2003-2005, she was Deputy Coordinator and Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the State Department.
Ms. Aguilar's other assignments include: Law Enforcement Counselor at the American Embassy in Moscow (2000 to 2003; USIS Director at the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent (1997-1999), U.S. Liaison Officer on the International Staff at NATO Headquarters in Brussels (1993-1996), Liaison Officer, Defense Directorate of Information at the Pentagon (1991-1992) and USIS Director at the U.S. Embassies in Mogadishu (1990-1991) and Ouagadougou (1986-1988). She also served at the U.S. Embassy in Lagos (1983-1985) and at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna (1981-1983). From 1988 until 1990 she was Office Director for the countries of Central Africa at the U.S. Information Agency.
Ms. Aguilar has studied French, German, Russian, Uzbek and Somali. She is a graduate of the National War College, class of 1993. She has a BA from UCLA and a Master's degree from the University of Virginia, where she is also a PhD candidate.
Ms. Aguilar is the recipient of numerous awards from the State Department and other agencies, including several for service during war, revolution or violent change of government. She has been awarded the State Department Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards, the Drug Enforcement Agency's Director's Award, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award.
Ms. Aguilar is married to Senior Foreign Service Officer John G. Fox.