Karen Kaiser was named Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for The Associated Press in 2014. Karen is responsible for overseeing the AP’s legal department, including all editorial, litigation, intellectual property, contract and licensing, compliance, and corporate legal matters. As Corporate Secretary, Karen provides corporate governance advice on issues impacting the company and the Board.
Karen has twice been honored as one of “America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel” by the National Law Journal. In 2014, the award was given to Karen for leading AP’s legal response to the Department of Justice’s seizure of AP’s phone records, and in 2016, the award was for Karen’s championing of AP’s First Amendment rights.
Karen joined AP in 2009. Prior to becoming General Counsel, Karen was Associate General Counsel, counseling the newsroom globally on all editorial matters including subpoena defense, government investigations, reporter’s privilege, newsgathering and source issues, libel defense, prepublication review, FOIA, and access. Following the DOJ’s seizure of AP’s phone records in 2013, Karen advocated for AP’s interests in high-level DOJ discussions that led to revisions to the guidelines for subpoenas to members of the press. Karen received AP’s Oliver S. Gramling Achievement Award in 2013 for this work, and in 2014, AP received the SPJ Eugene Pulliam First Amendment Award for that same work. Karen serves as part of the DOJ’s News-Media Task Force, where she meets with the Attorney General on issues of importance to the press.
Karen has drafted and filed more than 200 appeals on FOIA denials. These FOIA efforts were highlighted in a 2010 New York Times article, and AP’s FOIA efforts were honored with the SPJ Eugene Pulliam First Amendment Award in 2011. In 2015, Karen testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of stronger FOIA reforms.
Prior to joining AP, Karen was Senior Counsel at Tribune Company. Karen helped pass the Connecticut Reporter’s Shield Law by co-drafting the legislation and testifying before Connecticut’s joint judiciary committee in 2006. Previously, Karen was a litigation associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, where she worked on First Amendment cases such as the Valerie Plame Leak Investigation and Wen Ho Lee case. Karen clerked for the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy in the SDNY.
Karen is on the Steering Committee of the RCFP and on the board of the MLRC. Karen holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Economics from The University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from Fordham Law School.
Karen is on the Steering Committee of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. She is a frequent panelist, guest lecturer and speaker at national and regional conferences and educational seminars, and serves on various media law committees and on the board of the Forum on Communications Law of the American Bar Association.
Prior to joining AP, Karen was Senior Counsel at Tribune Company, where she was responsible for editorial, litigation, and transactional legal services for several daily newspapers, including The Baltimore Sun and The Hartford Courant. She counseled these and other papers on subpoena defense, litigation, access, FOIA, and prepublication review. Karen helped pass the Connecticut Reporter’s Shield Law by co-drafting the legislation and testifying before Connecticut’s joint judiciary committee in 2006.
Previously, Karen was a senior litigation associate at the NY law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel, where she worked on First Amendment cases such as the Valerie Plame CIA Leak Investigation and the Wen Ho Lee case. Before joining Cahill, Karen clerked for the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy in the Southern District of New York.
Karen holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Economics from The University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from Fordham Law School.