Dr Karen O'Connor
Fire Shield Mission Lead
Karen has more than 20 years’ experience in applied science and innovation.
She has designed large scale innovation programs at the Department of Defence, CSIRO and the Minderoo Foundation. She currently leads the Fire Shield Mission at the Minderoo Foundation which aims to reduce the impact of bushfires through technological advances in detection, information sharing, prediction and response.
Karen was previously Director of National Digital Missions at CSIRO’s Data61 and had a long-standing career in the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, including playing an integral role in the Next Generation Technologies Fund, Defence’s strategic investment in future technologies.
Prior to her work in innovation Karen had wide-ranging applied research experience in molecular biology, epidemiology, emerging technologies and operations research in Australia and the U.S.