Karen Mingst retired in December 2016 as Acting Director and Lockwood Chair in the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and Professor of Political Science at the University of Kentucky. She joined the Patterson School in 2002, having served as Chair of the Department of Political Science from 1993-1999. She received a BA from Colorado College, studied a year at the Graduate School of International Studies in Geneva, and received a PhD from the University of Wisconsin. She held academic positions at Louisiana State University and University of Maine. She has lectured and taught short courses in South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Albania, Vietnam, and United Nations University (Tokyo), and has received two Fulbright Awards to West Africa for teaching and research in Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Niger. Dr. Mingst has received financial support from the U.S. Institute of Peace, the National Science Foundation, the Carnegie Endowment, and the Ford Foundation.
She is active in the International Studies Association, serving as President of ISA-South (1987), Vice-President of ISA (1990), and Treasurer (1992-94). She also served a three-year term on the board of the Academic Council on the United Nations System. She is on the editorial board of several journals and is currently Associate Editor of International Studies Perspectives.
She has a long-standing interest in innovative teaching and working with graduate students. She has had 24 PhD completed under her mentorship, one-third of whom were women. She was a Pew Faculty Fellow, Kennedy School at Harvard University. She has received several outstanding teaching awards and in 1999-2000 was voted Distinguished Professor by the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences for outstanding research, teaching, and service.