McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Karen Williams has extensive experience on legislative and regulatory issues, within Congress and the Administration. She served in the White House under George H. W. Bush, and then spent nearly two decades as a legislative director and counsel in the US House of Representatives, focusing on agricultural legislation across a broad range of areas related to commodity programs, specialty crops, environmental and regulatory matters, trade, nutrition, pest and disease, food safety, biotech, research, farm labor, dairy, conservation, forestry, energy, rural development and other major agricultural issues.
Karen has had extensive involvement in advancing legislative initiatives within Congress to strengthen agricultural policy including participation in four Farm Bills. Working through Congressional Leadership, she played a key role in the development and movement through Congressional process of several significant legislative measures including the passage of the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (2014), the Providing Relief to Individuals Desiring Employment Act (2013), the Building Rural Communities Act (2013), the Safe Food Enforcement, Assessment, Standards and Targeting Act (2010), the EAT Healthy America Act (109th Congress), the Healthy America Act (108th Congress), the America Farmland Stewardship Act (107th Congress), the Plant Protection Act (106th Congress) and Risk Management Education (1996 Farm Bill).
Karen has also had extensive involvement in trade issues including Trade Promotion Authority, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and regional/bilateral agreements, as well as related international trade matters through Congress and the Administration. Serving the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, she was also closely involved in immigration policy.
Most recently, Karen was involved in the Trump 2016 presidential election campaign as an advisor at the Republican National Committee.