Karen Cruz


Assistant Director for Finance and Administration

Center for International Trade and Security (CITS)

Karen is the Assistant Director for Finance and Administration at the Center for International Trade and Security. In this capacity, she is the primary force in implementing the Center’s funded projects in a manner that meets and exceeds the professional standards of CITS, SPIA, and the University of Georgia. She is responsible for the financial administration and management of the Center’s accounts, for ensuring compliance with all applicable internal and external policies and procedures, and for keeping the Center’s director apprised of all obligations to project sponsors and cooperative partners.

Karen has extensive experience in managing grants and contracts, always serving as the primary liaison between CITS, their various project sponsors, and UGA’s Office of Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA). She also assists CITS staff in the development of proposals through the preparation of proposal budgets and other required documentation. Karen works closely with project Primary Investigators (PIs) to implement funded projects and ensure that all obligations to the funder are carried out in a professional and punctual manner.

Karen also provides logistical support for the Center’s domestic and international activities, including venue and travel for CITS staff, guest speakers, and participants. These duties include working with UGA’s Office of International Education to acquire visas for the Center’s many international partners and workshop participants.