Karen is Senior Research Fellow in the Public Service Research Group at the School of Business, UNSW Canberra.
She has a background in sociology, a masters in population health and a PhD in primary health care. Before moving into academia, Karen worked in practice and policy roles in the non-government sector and in government in the areas of youth health and homelessness, and primary health care reform.
Her research draws on sociological and evaluation theories to investigate policy and program implementation in complex real world settings. Much of her work has been in conducted in partnership with Aboriginal community controlled health services. She has led large scale program evaluations, specialising in applying evaluation theory and qualitative approaches in mixed method designs; projects exploring the process and impacts of co-designed social support programs; and the implementation and use of data in continuous quality improvement and primary care performance measurement programs. Karen has been a consultant to the Australian, ACT and NSW governments.
She has more than 100 working papers, technical reports and peer reviewed publications and has published in the Mandarin and the Guardian.