Karen Sewell

Dame Karen Sewell
  • Category: Faculty
  • Job Title: Director
  • Country: New Zealand

Areas of expertise

  • Public service delivery
  • Public leadership


Dame Karen Sewell DNZM QSO retired from the role of Secretary for Education and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education in 2011. Prior to that she was Chief Executive and Chief Review Officer of the Education Review Office and Acting Chief Executive of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. In 2013, Karen was the representative for the Minister of Education for the rebuilding of education in the Christchurch school sector. As well as serving on ANZSOG’s Board of Directors, Karen is the Chair of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, New Zealand’s largest Correspondence School. She is the Chair of Te Puni Kokiri's Audit and Risk Committee and serves on the board of Education Infrastructure Service. 

Dame Karen Sewell, has been recognised for a lifetime of outstanding service to New Zealand education, being made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM). She was awarded the New Zealand Medal (1990) and in 2012 became a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order (QSO) of New Zealand for Services to the State. Throughout her career, Karen has demonstrated a passion for ensuring the children and young people have the opportunity of a quality education and contribute positively to their community.