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Karen Wharton photoSenior Analyst in the Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS). She is a native of Trinidad and Tobago who immigrated to the United States. She holds a M.P.A. in Emergency Management and B.S.N. in Nursing. An Emergency Manager in the Veterans Health Administration, She worked for New York-Presbyterian/Columbia and New York City Hospitals as a critical care nurse in obstetric and neonatal care. Most recently, she was recruited by the United States Air Force as a Captain from 2010-2014, bringing years of clinical and administrative expertise to the military. Over the course of her career, she has been a tireless advocate for fighting Veteran’s homelessness and improving maternal/child healthcare. She successfully lobbied state legislators to increase minimum wage and brought awareness to Veteran’s supportive housing programs. Most notably, she was on the American Red Cross team that handled the “Miracle on the Hudson.” The plane made its spectacular emergency landing on the Hudson River in New York City and all 155 passengers and crew were safely rescued. She authored Continuity of Operations (COOP) policies for Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) and Randolph AFB-Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA); ensuring all critical benchmarks for emergency preparedness. She has been regularly recognized for her humanitarian efforts and positive influence on improving Veterans’ lives. She has been featured in various Media articles and has been awarded and nominated by “Jericho Project “a renowned nonprofit organization for her ability to inspire other Veterans.


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