Deputy Director for Risk Management
Department of Commerce
Dr. Karen Hardy
Department of Commerce
United States

Karen Hardy is Deputy Director for Risk Management at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She joined Commerce in 2011 and is responsible for integrating risk management systems into the agency’s day to day operations; strategic decision-making processes, budget cycle, and programmatic areas. Dr. Hardy provides leadership in policy development and implementation of Enterprise Risk Management frameworks across the Commerce 12 bureaus. During her time at Commerce, Dr. Hardy:

  • Served as a senior advisor to the OMB Office of Federal Financial Management within the Executive Office of the President on the subject of risk management policy;
  • Authored risk management Section 270 of OMB Circular A-11 which formally introduces Enterprise Risk Management in the Federal Government;
  • Contributed to updating OMB Circular No. A-123, Management’s Responsibility for Internal Control and developing the Federal Government’s first ever guidance on Enterprise Risk Management;
  • Established and implemented Commerce’s first Risk Management/ERM policy;
  • Conducted risk assessments to support numerous presidential initiatives such as the National Export Initiative, and the 2020 Census.
  • Established and chairs the first government-wide Interagency Council on Enterprise Risk Management.

Currently, Dr. Hardy is focused on executing strategic risk management for the Commerce Department’s Strategic Plan and assessing risk to the Department’s 19 strategic objectives. She recently delivered a presentation to the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Management and the Trinidad and Tobago Caribbean State. She is the recipient of two Bronze Medal Awards for superior performance from the Department’s Assistant Secretary for Administration and Chief Financial Officer.

Prior to Commerce, Dr. Hardy spent several years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where she led the development and implementation of the agency’s first risk management policy for 27 Institutes and Centers and 18,000 employees. Her career at NIH spanned several disciplines including grants management and contracts. She also served as an Administrative Officer. Prior to her federal career, Dr. Hardy worked for Citicorp/Citibank.

Dr. Hardy is an international and national speaker and has published many articles and books including the seminal book “Enterprise Risk Management: A Guide for Government Professionals,” (John Wiley & Sons 2014). She is a member of the 2015 COSO Advisory Council for the Integrated ERM Framework and the ISO 31000 Technical Advisory Group. She is a founder of the Association for Federal Enterprise Risk Management and a former Board Vice President. She also serves as a Visiting Lecturer at the Brookings Institution.

Dr. Hardy received her undergraduate degree in journalism and communications from Hampton University and her graduate degree in business administration from Strayer University. She earned her Doctor of Education degree in organizational leadership and human resource management from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

** Biography courtesy of


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