Anthropologist, economist and analyst. She studied at London School of Economics and Georgetown University with studies from the London School of Economics and Georgetown University. She has been granted honorary doctorates from the Universities of Georgetown, Yale, Massachusetts and Concordia.

She is the founder of the social enterprise Global Optimism, Ltd. and director of the podcast Outrage and Optimism.

Ms. Figueres grants strategic guidance to multiple companies, including Amazon and MacQuiarie. She is a distinguished member of the Conservation International and leader of Mission 2020. Karen Christiana Figueres Olsen was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2012 to 2016, and participated in negotiating both the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.

She was formerly Director of the Technical Secretariat of Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA) and, in 1995, she founded Center for Sustainable Development in the Americas (CSDA), a non-profit organization, which she directed for eight years.

She belongs to the Board of Directors of San Cristobal, S.A.