Deputy Chief of Mission Karen Gustafson de Andrade arrived in Benin in September 2020.
From 2017 to 2020 Karen served as a Foreign Policy Advisor to U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. Joining the Foreign Service in 2001, she has held consular leadership positions in Dakar, Senegal, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil. In Washington DC she served as the Denmark/Iceland desk. Early in her Foreign Service career she served in the management section in Paris, France, and as a reporting and human rights officer in Port au Prince, Haiti.
Born in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, Karen lived in Germany and Arizona as a child, and graduated from Mason City High School in Iowa. Her degrees include an MS in National Security Strategy from the National War College, and a JD, MBA, and BS in psychology from the University of Iowa.
Karen is fluent in French, Portuguese, and Spanish. Her son and eldest daughter attend Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, and her two youngest daughters attend boarding school in Virginia. They look forward to visiting Karen and the two family dogs in Cotonou over school breaks.