Karen E. Roth

President Elect

Karen Roth


Karen Roth is an experienced Department of Defense leader in cyber, artificial intelligence, and digital engineering. Roth has taken her proven skills in strategic thinking, communication, and partnership development to create a global ecosystem for the Air Force and to be a trusted fiduciary for the nonprofit boards she has served.

Roth is the Deputy Director of AFWERX, the innovation arm of the Department of the Air Force. She leads the strategy and execution across the $1.3b portfolio through AFVentures, Spark, Prime, SpaceWERX, and the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, which serves to expand the defense industrial base for advanced technologies, empower Airmen and Guardian talent, and drive faster technology transfer to operational capability.

Roth has a zeal for supporting women in STEM. Her commitment has led to her participation on several not-for-profit boards, including the Society of Women Engineers, where she has served as treasurer and director of professional excellence. She also serves as an advocate for women in other organizations such as the Girls Scouts and the regional engineering executive council.

She holds an executive MBA from Indiana University Kelley School of Business. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in software engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in systems engineering from Cornell University. She is currently completing an executive certificate in public leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

She serves SWE in a personal capacity and does not represent the U.S. Government or the U.S. Air Force in this role.

Email: president-elect@swe.org