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Kari Kietzer

’11 EMIR
Independent expert
Anti-corruption in post-conflict areas

Kari Kietzer, one of Maxwell's first EMIR graduates, is working as an independent consultant specializing in anti-corruption issues related to areas of post-conflict. She has had the privilege of working on expert projects that include: NATO's Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), NATO's Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum, and Transparency International's Defence and Security Programme. While working in Afghanistan for the International Security Assistance Force Headquarters (ISAF), she designed and led site visits of anti-corruption experts from Transparency International's Defence and Security Programme and represented the taskforce at international and NATO conferences. In addition to that, she served as the initiator and conceptual designer of a three-pronged strategic study plan to influence U.S. and NATO doctrine and policy developments related to anti-corruption planning, operation and stabilization. Through this role, Kietzer has consulted with general officers at the highest of levels in regards to key projects related to anti-corruption issues influencing their operations. 

Kietzer believes that being one of the first EMIR graduates in the Maxwell School gave her a huge advantage and it is one she is extremely grateful for. One of the biggest advantages was the mentorship she received from some of Maxwell's most esteemed professors. If it were not for her independent study with Professor Smullen, she wouldn't have been able to join general officers at the highest ranks of the headquarters for the war in Afghanistan and feel confident in briefing them in a manner necessary for the environment. Additionally, the core post-conflict course, taught by Catherine Bertini, gave her the direction she needed to move on to the U.S. Army War College and eventually be requested by former CJIATF-Shafafiyat Commander, MG H.R. McMaster, to serve as a counter-corruption liaison and further prior work in counter-corruption curriculum development. Soon after that, she was hand selected to move on to the newly created CJIATF-Afghanistan, two star command, which she believes she owes to her experience at Maxwell.

When asked if she had any advice for current Maxwell students, Kietzer had the following to say, "The Maxwell School has students in nearly every part of the world. Take advantage of the connections you make at Maxwell, they will serve as a great resource." Kietzer was surprised to see a Maxwell Cohort at the opening reception during one of her business trips from Afghanistan to Brazil. During her time in Afghanistan she was able to feel at home and find comfort, due to the large network of Maxwell grads that work in Afghanistan. That to her is just one of the many benefits she has received from attending Maxwell. 

Kietzer obtained her bachelor's degree in public relations and journalism from Western Michigan University in 1999. She graduated from the Maxwell School in 2010 with an executive master's degree in international relations. She currently resides in St. Joseph, Michigan.