Meet the Deputy Commissioners

Karen Waldrop

Deputy Commissioner Karen Waldrop

Dr. Waldrop began her association with KDFWR in 1999 when she began working on the elk restoration program in southeastern Kentucky as a graduate student and lead researcher. That grew into a 2004 post-doctoral study with the University of Kentucky that continued her elk research and management work. She then joined the department as the Research Program Coordinator in March 2005. In 2007, Dr. Waldrop became the Wildlife Division Director. As the Wildlife Division Director, she was responsible for long-range planning and policy development for the division, as well as overseeing statewide and regional programs for wildlife, including game species, migratory birds, furbearers, endangered species and land management. Dr. Waldrop served in that role for almost 8 years before accepting the position as Deputy Commissioner in September 2014.

Dr. Waldrop has a diverse background in wildlife management and conservation. During her educational and professional career, she has worked with multiple species including white-tailed deer, elk, reptiles/amphibians, and small game and on a variety of projects focusing on wildlife disease issues, habitat-based management, and restoration efforts. She has been a hunting and angling enthusiast most of her life, and she credits her parents for her sound conservation and management values. She enjoys squirrel hunting with her treeing feist squirrel dog Annie, striper fishing, rabbit hunting, crappie fishing, archery hunting for deer and elk, and turkey hunting.

She received her BS from the University of Georgia in Wildlife Biology and Forestry and received her MS from UGA in 1999 in Wildlife Biology. She earned her doctorate from Clemson University in 2004, where she studied parasite and disease issues associated with elk restoration in Kentucky.

She resides in Frankfort with her husband, Glenn, and stepson Zachery.