Karen Orvis, PhD
Dr. Orvis was formerly the Director of the Transition to Veterans Program Office (TVPO) within the Department of Defense (DoD). She was instrumental in redesigning the DoD Transition Assistance Program (TAP), which ensures that Service members are 'career ready' and prepared to transition to civilian life upon separation from active duty. As Chair of the interagency TAP Senior Steering Group, Dr. Orvis collaborated with leaders from the Departments of Defense, Labor, Veterans Affairs, Education, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and the U.S. Small Business Administration, ensuring that transition assistance was a coordinated, interagency effort which meets the needs of our Service members. Prior to this role, she was the Director of Evaluation and Assessment for TVPO, responsible for leading the program evaluation and assessment policies and programs, as well as TVPO's research program.
Dr. Orvis has over 15 years of business experience within the federal government and private sector. Prior to joining TVPO, Dr. Orvis served as the Program Manager of the Basic Research program at the U.S. Army Research Institute. She was responsible for the overall strategic direction, program planning, and sustainment of six research portfolios, leading a team in the procurement, monitoring, and execution of over 35 contracts/grants/in-house research efforts within these portfolios. Dr. Orvis transitioned to the federal government after spending four years as a University Assistant Professor at Old Dominion University. Dr. Orvis has also worked with other organizations, such as Fields Consulting Group and the U.S. Postal Service, on programs related to employee training, leader development, staffing, and organizational effectiveness. Her work has been published in journals such as Leadership Quarterly, Military Psychology, Journal of Applied Psychology, and the International Journal of Training and Development.
Dr. Orvis holds a Doctorate and a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Mason University, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Michigan State University. She has received various awards throughout her career including the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence, Department of the Army Commander's Award for Civilian Service, and American Society for Training and Development Dissertation Award.