Karen Olsen Beck

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Karen Olsen Beck (Karen Olsen de Figueres) (New York, January 31, 1933)[1] was an American-born Costa Rican diplomat who served as the First Lady of Costa Rica during the governments of Jose Figueres Ferrer 1954-1958 and 1970–1974, Legislative Assemblywoman and Ambassador of Costa Rica[2]


Karen Olsen de Figueres was born in New York, in the United States of America. Her family was of Danish origin. From an early age she exhibited great interest for social issues. While a young student at Mary Washington College, she was involved in several movements promoting solidarity and the defense of the needy.[3]

She married José Figueres Ferrer on February 6, 1954, then president of Costa Rica. With Figueres she had four children, including José María, also president of Costa Rica 1994–1998; and Christiana Figueres, a specialist in environment and climate change, who is the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.