Karen Biraimah joined UCF in 1985 and is now a tenured professor of Comparative and International Education, Director of the M.Ed. in C&I Program in the College of Community Innovation and Education, and a Faculty Fellow at UCF Global. She also serves as the Fulbright Campus Liaison for UCF. She began her career in education as a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher in Takoradi, Ghana, West Africa, followed by 12 years as a teacher of mathematics and social studies in the public high schools of Niagara Falls, New York and Detroit, Michigan. She has also been a faculty member at the University of Ife, Nigeria (now Obafemi Awolowo University), and has served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1993-94), Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya (2008-9), and the University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia (2015).

Areas of Expertise
  • Comparative and International Education
  • Social Foundations of Education
  • Intersectionality of Race, Class and Gender
  •  Ph.D., Comparative & International Education, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • M.S. Ed., Sociology and Math Education, Niagara University, New York
  • M.A., African Area Studies, University of California at Los Angeles
  • B.A., International Studies, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon


Her academic and research interests focus on issues of educational equity based on factors of race, ethnicity, class and gender within the context of comparative and international education. Dr. Biraimah has been a project director for multiple Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad to Malaysia & Singapore, Peru, Botswana and Namibia, and previously served as PI and Project Director for a three-year US Department of State grant to develop a sustainable study abroad program in Botswana. She served as Principal Investigator and Program Director for two IREX Teacher Excellence and Achievement (TEA) Programs sponsored by the US Department of State (fall 2013 and spring 2015), and a three-year USAID Tertiary Education Linkage Grant with Vista University in Pretoria, South Africa (2000-2003). Dr. Biraimah has been a consultant for the US High Commission for Refugees, and for a USAID project in South Africa focused on women’s education.

Research Interests
  • Resegregation of Education in the U.S. and Post-Apartheid South Africa
  • Quality and Impact of Study Abroad Programs
  • Development of Equitable Partnerships Between Universities in the Global North and South


  • Senior Fulbright Scholar Award, University of Namibia, 2015
  • Women Making History Award, UCF, 2014


Dr. Biraimah is Past-President of the Comparative and International Education Society, chairs a UNESCO linkage task force for the World Council of Comparative Education Societies, and reviews manuscripts for multiple journals including the Journal of Negro Education and the Comparative Education Review. She also serves as UCF campus Liaison for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

  • Journal of Negro Education, Editorial Board Member
  • U.S. Fulbright Scholars Program-UCF Campus Liaison
  • Fulbright Scholars Peer Review Committee (Middle East and Africa Scholar Applications)
  • World Congress of Comparative Education Societies; UNESCO Task Force Chair
  • University of Johannesburg, South Africa, Distinguished Visiting Professor and External Examiner
  • Pearson Publishers; Book Manuscript Reviewer (Multicultural Education text)
  • American Council on Education’s (UCF) Internationalization Laboratory Team Member
  • Dept. of Learning Sciences & Educational Research, Promotion & Tenure Committee Chair