Karen Kelley is a Senior Foreign Service officer with overseas experience in the Asia Pacific and Africa regions. Her service as Consul General in Osaka began in late August 2017. Prior to this assignment, Ms. Kelley was the Counselor for Public Affairs in the U.S. Embassy, Harare, Zimbabwe from August 2013 through June 2016, where she also served as the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission from July through November 2016.
Previously, she served as the Deputy Office Director and as the Acting Office Director in the Office of Japanese Affairs in Washington, D.C. from August 2008 through July 2009. From 2005-2008, she was the State Department Public Diplomacy Advisor to the U.S. Pacific Commander, USPACOM in Camp Smith, Hawaii.
Earlier in her career, she served as Spokesperson at U.S. embassies in Yaoundé, Cameroon, in Manila, Republic of the Philippines and in Tokyo, Japan, and held previous positions in the Japan Mission as the Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Consulates General in Osaka and Naha.
A resident of Kailua, Hawaii, Ms. Kelley enjoys the laid-back, “aloha” lifestyle of the Hawaiian Islands and she is an avid fan of the “Hula Kahiko” form of Hawaiian dance, whose goal is to preserve knowledge and allow contact with higher energies.
Ms. Kelley has two adult sons, Jegaan Faye, a singer song-writer who lives and performs in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Kharim Barthson, who is completing undergraduate study and Christian missions outreach activities in Eugene, Oregon. She single-parented both of her sons while balancing her professional responsibilities over a 28+-year career as a Foreign Service Officer.