Karen E. Bravo earned her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and her LL.M. from New York University School of Law. Bravo joined the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law faculty in 2004, teaching international law, international trade law, and business courses. Her administrative appointments at the law school include Associate Dean for Graduate Studies (2013-2018) and Vice Dean (2018-2020). She was appointed Dean of the McKinney School of Law on July 1, 2020, and is the Gerald L. Bepko Professor of Law.
A well-known international law scholar, and expert in the study of human trafficking, Dean Bravo’s research interests include labor liberalization, personhood, business and human rights, slavery, and human trafficking. She is the founder and leader of the Slavery Past, Present and Future project. The interdisciplinary initiative brings together scholars of slavery from a multiplicity of disciplines.
Before joining academia, Dean Bravo practiced corporate law with international law firms in New York and Massachusetts following her graduation from Columbia Law School. Her practice areas included venture capital financing, mergers and acquisitions, and emerging and public company representation. She left her law firm practice to join the American Bar Association’s Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (ABA/CEELI) in the Republic of Armenia, where she worked with domestic judiciary and advocates, and local and international NGOs on legal reform and education programs and strategies.
Dean Bravo co-proposed (2013) and co-led (2015-2018) IUPUI NextGeneration 2.0, the campus-wide leadership development and leadership succession-planning program dedicated to the preparation of women and underrepresented faculty and staff for positions of leadership and opportunities for advancement in higher education. She currently serves on the Advisory Board.
In 2020, Karen Bravo was presented the Bicentennial Medal for her distinguished contributions to Indiana University.