Karen Keiser has been a Washington State Senator since 2001 and has earned a reputation as a tireless advocate for improving health care.   Before coming to the Senate, she served in the House of Representatives from 1996 to 2001.

Karen is the assistant ranking member on the Washington state Senate Ways & Means Committee, where she serves as ranking member on the Capital Budget. She also sits on the Senate Health Care Committee, which she formerly chaired and served as ranking member while ushering in implementation of the Affordable Care Act at the state level.

In addition to serving the citizens of Washington, Karen serves as the chair of the Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform, a group of legislators from across the nation working to implement health reform.   She also is a vice-chair of the National Conference of State Legislators Health Committee and an Executive Board member of the Progressive States Network.

The former journalist and communications director holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in journalism from the University of California.

Karen has earned numerous awards for her legislative and civic achievements including:

  • American Cancer Society Legislative Champion
  • The ARC Employment Champion for the Developmentally Disabled
  • WSPA Distinguished Public Service Award
  • Progressive States Network State Leader Award
  • Children’s Alliance Champions for Children Award
  • Center for Policy Alternatives State Legislator of the Year

In her spare time, Karen enjoys gardening,  the ballet, spending time with her family and friends, international travel and attending community service events.