Karen Donders is Director of Public Value at VRT since February 2021. Before, she headed the MEDIA unit of imec-SMIT, supervising approx. 45 senior and junior researchers studying media from an integrated business, policy and user perspective. Karen specialises in the European digital single market, the effects of European competition policy on the media sector, broadcasting-distribution relations, and public service media policies and strategies in the digital age. Karen lectured Policy Analysis and European Media Markets at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel where she is Assistant Professor.
Before working as a Senior Researcher with imec-SMIT, Karen was a postdoctoral fellow with FWO. Before that Karen was a Ph.D. student with the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. In 2010 Karen finalised her PhD on European State aid law and public service broadcasting. Her monograph 'Public service media and policy in Europe' was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012. In 2005 Karen Donders graduated in communication science at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) on a thesis concerning US trade policy in the WTO and its impact on the audiovisual dossier.