Karen Knutson has been selected to lead all government relations activities for Tyson Foods, the company reported on September 5.

As the new senior vice president for global government affairs, Knutson will be based in the company’s Washington, D.C., office and will be responsible for state, federal and international government relations for the company and its subsidiaries. Tyson Foods is the nation’s largest food company and currently has operations in the United States and internationally, including China and India.

Knutson has 30 years of government-related experience, most recently serving as a government affairs and policy leader for General Electric. Her career has also included a variety of roles within the federal government including chief of staff and legislative director in the U.S. Senate and as deputy assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for domestic policy.


“Karen brings extraordinary energy, strategic vision, and deep domestic and international expertise to this role.  As our company grows, we need the right team to navigate us through increasingly complex policy issues in a dynamic political landscape,” said Amy Tu, executive vice president and general counsel for Tyson Foods. “We have a terrific team of professionals, and we are excited to welcome Karen. With Karen’s leadership and vision, Tyson Foods will be well-prepared to address the challenging issues facing our company today and tomorrow.”

A native of Alaska, Knutson has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a law degree from Wake Forest University.