Karen Brown is director of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC), where she directs a number of international and interdisciplinary education and research programs including the ICGC Scholar and Mellon Scholars fellowship programs and a partnership with the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. Brown co-chairs the Master of Development Practice degree program in international development studies with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, serves as the Director of Graduate Studies and teaches in the ICGC Development Studies and Social Change (DSSC) PhD minor program, and also serves as a graduate faculty member in Feminist Studies, the Human Rights Program, and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Her past positions include assistant vice president for international scholarship (2012-2015) in which she directed the University’s system-wide Global Spotlight grants program to support international and interdisciplinary research and special assistant for international scholarship in the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance.
Brown earned her PhD in Political Science (University of Minnesota) with concentrations in international relations and comparative politics. She also earned an MA in East Asian Studies (University of Minnesota) and a BS in Chinese (Georgetown University). Her academic interests focus on gender and public policy in global context, international women's and children's human rights, girls in international policy, and international research ethics and methods. Her publications include the essay "Women's Rights are Human Rights” in Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks.