Karen holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Political Science from the University of Brasília and a master's degree in Public Policy and Development from the London School of Economics (LSE). 

She has experience in public policies and the environment, working as a specialist in public policies and government management at the federal government on issues related to the environment and climate change since 2009. 

She was the director of the National Adaptation Plan for Climate Change, and also senior manager of the National Plan on Climate Change and the National Climate Change Fund. Lastly, she was the Senior Advisor for Environmental Affairs at the Presidency of Brazil.