Ambassador to Timor-Leste: Who Is Karen Clark Stanton?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The new nation of Timor-Leste—in existence only since 2002—will soon have a new U.S. ambassador to deal with. Nominated July 31, Karen Clark Stanton has been executive director in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs since 2009. Although the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved her nomination on Halloween, a threat by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) to hold up all executive nominations until additional witnesses to the terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, testify, could delay final approval.

 

Born circa the 1960s, Karen Clark Stanton earned a B.A. at the University of Michigan and an M.S.S. at the National War College in 2000, where she wrote a paper on “Controlling Weapons of Mere Destruction.”

 

After joining the Foreign Service, Stanton served early career foreign postings as a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, from 1987 to 1990 and at the embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, from 1991 to 1993. Continuing her work in the consular field, Stanton served as a consular officer in the Visa Office in the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department in Washington, D.C. from 1993 to 1995. 

 

Back on the road, she served as a personnel officer at the embassy in Beijing, from 1995 to 1998, and after taking time to earn her M.S.S. at the National War College in 2000, she was an assignments officer in the Bureau of Human Resources in 2001. 

 

Stanton was the supervisory post management officer in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2001 to 2004, and a management counselor at the embassy in Singapore from 2004 to 2008. 

 

From 2008 to 2009, Stanton was the deputy executive director in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, rising to executive director in 2009. 

 

Karen Clark Stanton is married to William Stanton, a retired Foreign Service officer who served as director of the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan from 2009 to 2012. They have two daughters, Katherine and Elizabeth.

-Matt Bewig

 

Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (pdf)

 

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