The U.S. Department of State has appointed Karen Grissette to serve as the next, full-time, U.S. Consul General to Bermuda. A career Foreign Service Officer of over 20 years, Ms. Grissette recently served as the Executive Director of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in Washington D.C., where she advised a presidentially appointed Board on the global Fulbright academic exchange program.
Ms. Grissette’s previous roles in the United States include Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in Washington D.C., where she advised the Under Secretary on public diplomacy initiatives in Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, and Public Diplomacy Advisor to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) at Camp Smith, Hawaii, where she advised the combatant command and managed military exchange programs throughout South Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific. Her overseas assignments include Public Diplomacy Officer in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Political Officer in Athens, Greece and Consular and Political Officer in Kingston, Jamaica. During a period dominated by Greece’s refugee and economic crisis, Ms. Grissette was also responsible for heading the Athens Press Office. In 2010, she received the U.S. State Department’s Swanee Hunt Award for Advancing Women’s Role in Policy Formulation, highlighting her efforts to promote the rights of women and girls.
“It is an honor to have been selected to serve as the U.S. Consul General to Bermuda,” says Ms. Grissette. “I look forward to building on the efforts of my predecessors and specially thank Mr. Alan Purcell and Mr. Tom Edwardsen, for recently acting in this role until my permanent assignment was confirmed. The common history and cultural ties between the United States and Bermuda are longstanding and I plan on strengthening the special relationship during my time here.”
Before pursuing a career in the Foreign Service Officer, Ms. Grissette was an election and voter registration supervisor in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Ms. Grissette holds a Master of Public Policy from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts with academic distinction from Whittier College. She speaks Swahili and Greek. A native of California, she is married with two children.
Ms. Grissette will arrive to Bermuda during the week of July 5, following the departure of Acting Consul Tom Edwardsen on July 3.