Lt. Gen. Karen Dyson

general karen dyson

Lt. Gen. Karen Dyson will be inducted into the 2023 Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame.

Lt. Gen. Karen Dyson comes from a military family. Her father, Gordon Dyson, served a career in the Infantry and Special Forces. Her two younger brothers were also active in the military. Her husband’s military career was in the United States Air Force.  

Dyson spent her career serving the United States Army. From 2000–02, Dyson worked as a member of the White House Military Office as comptroller and chief of staff. She led soldiers and civilian workforces as a commander at multiple levels. As a commander she deployed to Saudi Arabia and Bosnia.  From 2004–07, she was brigade commander with service in Iraq and Europe. She was deputy director for business transformation under the secretary of the Army from 2011–12 and director of Army budget from 2012–14.  

In 2014, Dyson made Army history when she became the first female finance officer to achieve the rank of three-star general.  She was appointed by Congress to the position of military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for financial management and comptroller. This position is the most senior military leader responsible for the full range of financial management functions supporting the Army, a $300 billion enterprise averaging $150 billion in annual global operations. 

She has served as director on the boards of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and the Defense Commissary Agency, retail operations supporting military members and families around the world.  

General Dyson retired from the Army in 2017, transitioning to support companies as an independent board director. She currently serves on the boards of Genworth, the USAA Federal Savings Bank, CALIBRE Systems, Inc. and the Army Emergency Relief Organization. Dyson received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Missouri State Alumni Association and was inducted into the ROTC Hall of Fame in 2021. 

Dyson accepted an ROTC scholarship to Missouri State and graduated in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She also holds an MBA from Austin Peay State University and a master’s concentrated in national resource strategy from the National Defense University.