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President Bush delivers remarks to Cabinet and Sub-Cabinet Members in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 16, 2002.  White House photo by Paul Morse.
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Karen Harbert -- Department of Energy
Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Domestic Policy

Ms. Harbert is the Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy. Her office is the primary policy advisor to the Secretary and the Department on domestic and international energy issues, new policy initiatives and implementation of the National Energy Policy. She negotiates and manages bilateral and multilateral agreements with other countries and international agencies to further our energy security and research and development objectives. Previously, she was the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin American and the Caribbean at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) with primary responsibility for foreign assistance programs in South America and the Caribbean. Ms. Harbert had oversight of programs in 11 countries totaling over $800 million and 1,000 employees. In the private sector, Ms. Harbert worked for a developer of international infrastructure and power projects valued at over $9 billion in dozens of countries. She coordinated efforts to open new markets and sectors for the corporation, including market and risk analyses, entry and exit strategies, public relations campaigns and forging host country government relationships. She was also integrally involved in the implementation of energy sector privatization strategies for foreign governments. Ms. Harbert gained broad experience in issues associated with economic reform and privatization through an earlier appointment to USAID, the OAS and at the International Republican Institute. Ms. Harbert was the Regional Director for Latin American and Caribbean programs at the International Republican Institute where she directed and managed democracy development and economic reform programs in 16 countries. Ms. Harbert directed large international election observation initiatives in Haiti, Mexico and Nicaragua and economic reform programs in Argentina and Venezuela. Ms. Harbert previously served as an Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Management at the Organization of American States where she managed the OAS/UN International Civilian Mission to Haiti, and assisted with the demining and combatant reintegration programs in Nicaragua. Prior to joining the OAS, Ms. Harbert served at USAID where she was the Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Latin American and Caribbean Affairs for three years. In that position, Ms. Harbert acquired broad experience in coupling development policy with foreign policy goals in this Hemisphere. She developed the annual strategic program plan for achievement of economic development objectives in Latin America and was directly involved in the implementation of the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative. Ms. Harbert has also worked at the Republican National Committee and for several presidential campaigns. Ms. Harbert received a degree in international policy studies and political science from Rice University in Houston, Texas. She resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband Michael J. Mitchell and two children.

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