Lieutenant Commander Karen M. Lee – United States Coast Guard
LCDR Lee entered active duty in 2005 and became a Judge Advocate in June 2018. She has served in multiple positions including as the Legal Advisor, Senior Staff Attorney, and as a Deputy Staff Judge Advocate. LCDR Lee distinguished herself as a key leader in the Coast Guard providing immediate impact in her first legal tour, leading units through legally complex situations brought on by the 35-day U.S. Government shutdown and the COVID-19 pandemic. Having set the groundwork as a trusted legal advisor, she provided critical advice and support to leaders on over 500 military justice cases ensuring timely results, just outcomes, and minimal impact to operations. Finally, she leveraged her vast prevention expertise providing exemplary legal support through several significant events including laying the groundwork for national-wide change for fire safety on board small passenger vessels, helping chart the course for the introduction of large-scale offshore wind energy into the U.S., and providing foundational legal support during the Coast Guard’s support to the joint operation regarding the Chinese High-Altitude Balloon. The distinguished accomplishments of LCDR Lee reflect great credit upon herself, the United States Coast Guard, and the Department of Homeland Security.