CDR Karen Love Kutkiewicz
Commander Kutkiewicz is the Commanding Officer of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter VENTUROUS (WMEC 625). She recently departed Coast Guard Headquarters as the deputy Chief of Strategic Communication for the Coast Guard office of Public Affairs, collaborating, advising, developing, and executing communication action plans for all Coast Guard strategies and major initiatives.
With a love of the sea, Kutkiewicz’s 18-year career has taken her from the rock of Gibraltar to the Galapagos Islands, from the Aleutian Islands, Alaska to Antarctica, and many points in between including 27 countries, and six continents. Her last underway assignment was Operations Officer of the Nation’s only Heavy Icebreaker, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB 10) navigating the vessel 20,000 nautical miles to McMurdo, Antarctica to break miles long ice channels to facilitate sealift to the American outpost for Operation Deep Freeze.
A proud permanent Cutterman with more than seven years of sea duty, she served as the Operations and Weapons Officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell (WHEC 719), and assistant navigator and law enforcement officer onboard Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton (WHEC 715). She led the ship’s maritime law enforcement team into high threat areas, apprehended dozens of narcotic-traffickers, and seized 19 tons of cocaine heading to American streets in the largest drug bust in Coast Guard history (to date).
As an External Affairs Officer, she served as First Coast Guard District Public Affairs Officer overseeing missions across eight Northeast states providing guidance to senior leadership, creating marketing strategies, and leveraging the media to tell the Coast Guard story. She deployed to Texas following Hurricane Harvey providing crisis communication counsel to FEMA. On special assignment, she worked as a military public affairs officer on the Armed Forces Inauguration Committee for the 44th Presidential Inauguration. Recently, she served as the Coast Guard’s second Federal Executive Fellow to the United States Naval Institute in Annapolis, Maryland.
Kutkiewicz holds a Bachelor of Science in Operations Research and Computer Analysis from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a Master of Arts in Communication from San Diego State University, is a Defense Information School graduate, and earned the Joint Professional Military Education certificate from the U.S. Naval War College.
Kutkiewicz is a native of Des Moines, Washington. She is married to Todd, of Center Moriches, New York, an unlimited tonnage Master Mariner and Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. They have two children Sarah (6) and John (4).