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Karen Peabody O'Brien

Karen is Program Officer for New Ventures at the W. Alton Jones Foundation. She holds a BA in Development Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, an MA in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in Political Science at Columbia University.

Karen is resident expert on busways at the foundation. She also works on initiatives that address the linkages between urban transportation and public health, and education and community development.

Karen has had a long-standing interest in issues surrounding political and economic development and has worked on projects that have taken her as far away as Uzbekistan, where she researched links between economic development and nationalism. More recently, she has turned to the environmental ramifications of urbanization, and to sustainable transportation policies as an key component of "smart growth". One of her current project foci is in Los Angeles, where advocates are trying to usher in a Curitiba-style busway system as part of that city's continued evolution.

Before coming to the Foundation, Karen was Research Associate at Global Outlook, an non-profit organization whose goal was to defuse the arms race through increased face-to-face contacts between American and Soviet policy makers.

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