Karen Howard

Director, Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics

Areas of Expertise:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Chemistry
  • Technology assessment
  • Water quality

Dr. Karen L. Howard is a Director in GAO’s Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics (STAA) team. She oversees a team of scientists and engineers who analyze science and technology issues through GAO’s technology assessments, technical performance audits, and other science- and technology-focused work.

Karen joined GAO in September 2007 as a member of the Health Care team, where she led reviews on private health insurance, drug pricing, and FDA’s approval processes for drugs and medical devices. Since then, Karen has worked on a variety of science and technology issues at GAO, including sustainable chemistry technologies, ocean acidification, federal management of toxic chemicals, water quality and scarcity challenges, and artificial intelligence in health care. In November 2019, she became a Director in GAO’s new STAA team. Prior to joining GAO, she was a high school chemistry and biology teacher for 12 years.

Karen has a PhD in environmental chemistry from the State University of New York – College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She also has a master’s degree in education from Duquesne University and a master’s degree in analytical chemistry from Youngstown State University. Karen received dual bachelor’s degrees in biology and secondary education from Penn State University.

Karen works in GAO’s Huntsville, Alabama Field Office.


Vaccine Safety
What Manufacturing Challenges Could Delay Vaccine Distribution?
Air Quality and the Technology Used to Monitor It
The Benefits of Recycling Consumer Electronics