Karen Kashmanian Oates, Senior Fellow

Karen Kashmanian Oates, Senior Fellow

Karen Kashmanian Oates, Senior Fellow

A nationally recognized scientist, science educator, and higher education leader, Karen is Dean of Arts and Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). She previously was a deputy director of the Division of Undergraduate studies at the National Science Foundation (NSF). At the NSF, Karen managed a budget of over $380 million and a staff of more than 35 charged with supporting innovative programs to strengthen undergraduate education and help revitalize American entrepreneurship and competitiveness. A biochemist, her early research focused on various chemical and biological aspects of breast cancer and biologic therapies for cancer. After receiving her Ph.D. at George Washington Medical Center in Biochemistry, she worked as a visiting scientist at the National Institutes of Health’s Oncology and Hematology Division. She then began her academic career at George Mason University, where, as associate dean for the new College of Integrated and Interdisciplinary Studies, she helped create George Mason’s New American College environment. She later served as inaugural provost for Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, where she established NCSCE with David Burns. Among the honors she has received are the Bruce Alberts Award and the Distinguished Public Service award, the highest civilian honor presented by the City of Harrisburg (PA). As the inaugural holder of the Peterson Family Deanship of Arts and Sciences, she oversees seven academic departments, as well as several interdisciplinary programs including Environmental Science, Robotics and Interactive Media and Game Development.