Department of Defense Education Activity

Chief Legal Counsel Transfers to Federal Housing Finance Agency

Media Advisory: January 23, 2013


Karen Lambert

Karen Lambert, General Counsel for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), has accepted a position as an attorney with the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Lambert, who has been DoDEA’s chief “Legal Eagle” since September 2003, has a deep appreciation of the Military Services, having served as an attorney with the Departments of Defense (DoD), Army, and Navy. Prior to joining DoDEA, Lambert worked in the Pentagon with the Department of Navy’s Office of the General Counsel and with DoD’s Office of the General Counsel. She was also an attorney in Washington, D.C. with the Naval Research Laboratory and at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. with the Army’s Armament Research & Development Engineering Center.

Lambert doesn’t want anyone to think she left out the Air Force, remarking, “I advised on many major Air Force acquisition systems while I was assigned to DoD’s Office of General Counsel.”

Over the past nine years, Lambert’s steady, sound, advice, and calm, cool, and collected manner has been invaluable to DoDEA and its leaders. As with any organization, DoDEA has changed over time, and Lambert has been a part of those changes.

“DoDEA’s mission has expanded greatly over the past nine years,” said Lambert. “There’s so much more Congressional and media interest in our schools and programs.”

To be sure, Lambert has worked on the tough issues facing DoDEA during the past decade. But for her, the rewards are in the classroom and on the faces of DoDEA’s students around the world.

“I’ve had many rewarding moments, but the most rewarding were the times I was able to be in our schools and meet our students, who are quite amazing at all ages,” she said. “I have also attended an arrival ceremony for the remains of our military members and that really brought home for me the stress, uncertainty and sometimes tragedy that many of our children face and why DoDEA schools are so important.”

Lambert downplayed the challenging moments as DoDEA’s chief attorney.

“The most challenging moment for me while I’ve been with DoDEA has been leaving Starbucks behind when we moved to the Mark Center,” she quipped.

At the end of the day, it’s all about people for Lambert and she said that’s what she will miss the most as she moves on from DoDEA to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

“I will miss my exceptional worldwide staff, and all my wonderful colleagues and friends at DoD General Counsel, DoDEA Headquarters, and the Pacific Europe, and DDESS,” said Lambert.

As she leaves the ranks of the DoD workforce, Lambert had some advice that transcends legal bounds and extends to everyone.

“Keep focused on the mission--each person's job contributes to it and what you do at DoDEA really does matter,” she said.

All the best to you in your new job Karen! We are so grateful to you for your service, your hard work, your sound advice, and your friendship and camaraderie.