Deputy Chief of Mission
Karen Decker, a career Foreign Service Officer since 1990, arrived in Tallinn, Estonia on September 5, 2007 to take up the post of Deputy Chief of Mission. She comes to Estonia via a year in southern Afghanistan, where she served as the U.S. Political Advisor to NATO's regional command in Kandahar.
Prior to service in Afghanistan, Karen was Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece (2003-2006), working with the Greek Government to advance U.S. objectives on issues such as multinational operations in Iraq and stability in the western Balkans. During this time, Karen also reported on security planning for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
From 2001-2002, Karen served in Washington, D.C. as the Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. In the days and weeks after September 11, 2001, Karen traveled extensively with the Assistant Secretary to help build the coalition that today fights the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq.
From 1998-2001, Karen was assigned to the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium, where she served as the chief action officer on NATO policy in the Balkans, with primary responsibility for NATO's air campaign, and subsequent peacekeeping mission, in Kosovo.
From 1995-1998, Karen worked in Bosnia, first at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, where she went from monitoring cease-fire conditions between warring factions to implementing a full-fledged peace treaty. From 1997-1998, Karen was seconded to the Office of the High Representative, a UN-mandated organization charged with overseeing a special governance regime in the disputed town of Brcko in northern Bosnia.
Karen's first assignment in the Foreign Service was as Vice Consul at the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore, Pakistan.
Karen is the recipient of five Superior Honor Awards. In 2000 Secretary of State Colin Powell awarded Karen the Director General's Award for Reporting and Analysis for her work to elaborate U.S. objectives in the Balkans. Officially, she speaks Russian and Greek. She received her Bachelor's degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.