Born and raised in New Jersey, Karen Lucas, has a B.S. in Textiles & Apparel from the University of Maryland and worked in the Fashion industry for 13 years. She has experience as an Accessories Buyer, Assistant Store Manager and Department Manager for several Specialty stores and a major Department store in the Washington, DC area. With a reduction of retail presence in the DC area, she abandoned her first love of fashion for a more secure position by obtaining a B.S. in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland University College. From this change in direction, she then spent the next 27 years in positions of increasing responsibility with the Federal government managing projects and people. As a Computer Specialist with the Department of the Navy she worked in a team environment to design, develop, train end users and maintain a medical tracking, surveillance and executive information system for the Surgeon General of the Navy.
In 2000, she took a position with the Department of Agriculture as Chief of the Application Development Branch in the Office of the Chief Information Officer directing all phases of the planning, development, enhancement/modernization, implementation, and maintenance (System Development Life Cycle) of all IT systems that supported the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) mission.
After seven years in the Information Technology field, Karen was promoted to Deputy Director for administrative services at the Agricultural Research Service. She remained in this position until her retirement in 2013.