Karen is Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), whose mission is to make Scotland the best place in the world to educate, research and innovate, investing around £1.8 billion of public money each year in colleges and universities to provide life-changing opportunities and contribute to our economic prosperity. She joined SFC from the Scottish Government where, as Director of External Affairs, she led the government’s international relations and response to the EU referendum. Her previous policy roles include UK relations, enterprise and tourism, sponsorship of key enterprise agencies, culture and arts funding, historic environment and creative industries. As the first Chief Executive of the Scottish Housing Regulator she provided leadership in governance and financial sustainability, improved housing and homelessness services and secured private sector investment into new and improved affordable homes. Having held the position of Principal Private Secretary to the First Minister and Head of Ministerial Offices, Karen has a deep understanding of the wider policy context that impacts on further and higher education sectors, alongside the workings of central government at Scottish, UK and international levels.