About

Kari Barsness, Principal

Kari Barsness has 20 years of experience in policy and government relations in North Carolina. She has represented the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and a healthcare company before the General Assembly. In her positions with state agencies and healthcare companies, Kari has brought leadership and energy to her work in government relations and public policy.


Kari has broad bipartisan relationships across NC state government and the General Assembly. In addition to the legislative process, she understands how the regulatory process works and navigates this for her clients. Kari also has in-depth knowledge of the state budget. She has prepared and administered budgets, and has lobbied on behalf of clients for appropriations needs. 


A native of Minnesota, Kari graduated from St. Olaf College with a BA in mathematics and economics with a statistics concentration. She brought her Minnesota-nice, Midwestern work ethic to North Carolina in 1998 to earn a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in environmental policy from NC State University.


When asked to describe her, Kari’s colleagues and friends say, “Energetic!” Physical activity has been an important part of her life as a runner (four marathons, two while pregnant!), a half-Ironman and GORUCK participant, a soccer player, and a tennis player. Kari also enjoys traveling in her spare time.


Kari is a member of the NC Professional Lobbyist Association, and a member and former board member of the NCSU Public Administration Alumni Society. She currently serves as VP-Public Relations for Cardinal Toastmasters.