Prior to joining BCLI as Executive Director in 2020, Karen spent 20 years working as a lawyer and an advocate in the public interest, primarily in environmental and natural resources law. She has held senior positions at Ecojustice Canada, the Pembina Institute and West Coast Environmental Law.
Her expertise includes energy, mining, climate and environmental assessment law. She has worked to ensure accountability on important resource matters including interprovincial pipelines, fossil fuel developments and mining issues across BC, appearing before the BC Supreme Court, Federal Courts, the National Energy Board and the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River. Karen has also worked on behalf Indigenous nations and communities directly affected by resource developments in BC, and particularly across northern BC, including BC’s northeast. More recently, she was a member of the 2017 BC Environmental Assessment Advisory Committee, which advised the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change on options for reforming BC’s environmental assessment process.
Karen worked with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment advising on policy and legislation before moving to BC in 1998. She obtained her BA from the University of Western Ontario, a JD from Dalhousie University, and her LL.M., with distinction, in International Environmental Law from the University of London.