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Dr. Karen L. OwenKaren Owen, Master of Public Administration Program Director

Master of Public Administration Program Director

Dr. Karen L. Owen is the Director of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program and assistant professor of public administration at Reinhardt University. Prior to joining the Reinhardt faculty, she served as a political science instructor through the School of Public and International Affairs at The University of Georgia. She has also served as an editorial associate for the Journal of Politics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.  She has taught courses in public policy, human services administration, administrative law, public management and leadership and research methodology, as well as American government and seminars on Southern politics and Congress. 

In addition, Dr. Owen has had diverse professional experiences in the political science arena during the last ten years. She has worked in the public sector at the state level with the Georgia General Assembly and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia.  From 2004 through 2007, she worked at the federal level serving as a legislative assistant for then-U.S. Congressman Nathan Deal (GA-9) in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D. C. and as a public policy and legislative analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Owen utilizes her public sector experiences to teach students not only fundamental political and policy theories, but also to enlighten them with practical political knowledge and skills that are applicable in any professional work environment.

Dr. Owen is excited to join Reinhardt and lead the MPA program “because of this university’s mission to provide sound liberal arts education and resourceful and practical graduate education.”   She has great enthusiasm about initiating a graduate program that will provide professional working knowledge and skills advancement for many public sector and nonprofit sector professionals in our community.

Dr. Owen is also a Cherokee County native and was the 1998 valedictorian of Cherokee High School.


Ph.D. in Political Science, The University of Georgia

Master of Public Administration, The University of Georgia

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History, The University of Georgia.

Professional Experience in the Field

  • Policy Analyst, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;  2005-2007
  • Legislative Analyst, U.S. House of Representatives; 2004-2005
  • Legislative Assistant, Georgia General Assembly 2001

Professional Affiliations

  • American Political Science Association
  • Midwest Political Science Association
  • Southern Political Science Association
  • Georgia Political Science Association

Research Interests

  • Political influences in public policy formation
  • Administrative rulemaking
  • Women in politics
  • Legislative politics

Published Articles 

  • “Georgia’s Eighth Congressional District Election” in Case Studies of the 2010 Congressional Elections
  • “Alternative Paths to the Bench: Recruitment of Women to Become Judges in Georgia” in the Georgia Political Science Association Online Publication Proceedings
  • “Partisan Change and Consequences for Lobbying: Two-Party Government Comes to the Georgia Legislature” in the State and Local Government Review
For information, please contact:

For program specifics
Dr. Karen Owen
MPA Program Director

North Fulton Center
4100 Old Milton Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30005-4442

For admissions information
Hilary Martin
Graduate Admissions Coordinator 

FAX:  770-720-5739