About the Speaker
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    Karen Brinson Bell
    Executive Director, N.C. State Board of Elections

    Karen Brinson Bell was appointed executive director of the State Board of Elections on May 13, 2019, and began her tenure on June 1. As the state’s chief elections official, she leads about 70 full-time employees at the state agency, which is charged with administering elections and overseeing the 100 county boards of elections, as well as campaign finance disclosure and compliance. She has worked in election administration since 2006, including five years as district elections technician with the State Board of Elections and four years as elections director for Transylvania County, N.C. Before taking the position of executive director, Karen traveled across the United States providing expert testimony and making presentations about elections administration, specifically about implementing and administering ranked-choice voting.

    Karen was born and raised in Kenansville in Duplin County, N.C., where her father was mayor. In 1996, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, with a double major in mass communication and political science.