Karen Handel is a life-long conservative who built her career on delivering results in both the public and private sectors.
One of just five women ever to be elected to statewide office in Georgia, Karen served as Georgia’s first Republican Secretary of State. In this role, Karen led the state’s implementation of photo ID for voting, which became the national model for the law.
Karen is also the first woman to be elected Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. As Chairman, she quickly distinguished herself as a problem-solver and smart negotiator – quickly turning a $100 million budget deficit into a balanced budget without raising taxes, delivering the county’s first truly balanced budget, and achieving significant ethics reforms. In addition, she spearheaded the county’s negotiations for the formation of the City of Sandy Springs. Karen also served in the Bush-Quayle White House and as deputy chief of staff to Governor Sonny Perdue.
Karen’s private sector experience includes executive management positions with CIBA Vision and the accounting firm of KPMG. She also served as president and CEO of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, where she led the chamber from the brink of bankruptcy to solvency, while driving an aggressive economic development program that helped create tens of thousands of jobs in North Metro Atlanta.
Elected to the United States House of Representatives in a special election in June (2017), Karen is serving her first term as Georgia’s 6th District Congressman. Her district includes North Fulton, East Cobb, and parts of DeKalb County. She emerged from an 18-field special election and successfully navigated, what is the most expensive congressional race in history, to become Georgia’s first Republican woman ever to be elected to the United States Congress. Karen serves on the Judiciary Committee, as well as the Education and Work Force Committee.
Karen and her husband Steve have lived in the 6th Congressional District for nearly 25 years and currently reside in Roswell with their Cavaliers King Charles Spaniels, Abbie and Sadie.