Karen Lee was born in Lincoln and has lived there all of her life. She was educated in Lincoln, and completed her Diploma in Adult Nursing at Lincoln County Hospital.
Having qualified as a nurse in 2003, Karen worked for 14 years in Lincoln Country Hospital, and remains registered as a nurse to this day.
Karen served as a City of Lincoln councillor from 2004 until her election in June 2017. During this time she chaired the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee., which gained national recognition for its groundbreaking work in mitigating the impact of poverty on Lincoln residents.