Karena Lyons

EWC Vice President and Executive Director of Research
LyonsK [at] EastWestCenter.org
Area of Expertise: 

Asia Pacific international relations; US-Oceania defense and security relations; Political and economic development in the Pacific Islands.

As East-West Center Vice President and Executive Director of Research, Ambassador Karena Lyons participates in the overall strategic and administrative leadership of the Center, as well as heading up EWC’s research division and cross-departmental Pacific Islands Initiative.

Before joining the Center in May 2019, Lyons was New Zealand’s Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau, residing in Hawai’i where she was Consul General to the State of Hawai‘i and Envoy to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. Previously, she served as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs; as Strategist and Negotiator for New Zealand on the United Nations Security Council; and as a faculty member at the University of Auckland School of Law. She is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Auckland and the Freie Universität, Berlin, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology and Politics) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Auckland.