Karen Shaff is the executive vice president and general counsel for Principal Financial Group, Inc. She is responsible for the Law and Government Relations departments of the Principal. Principal is a more than $318.8 billion, Fortune 500 insurance and financial services organization based in Des Moines, Iowa. Before joining Principal in 1982, Shaff was an associate with the law firm of Austin and Gaudineer in Des Moines from July 1979 through February 1982. Shaff holds a law degree from Drake University Law School. Shaff obtained her B.A. from Northwestern University in Political Science. Shaff is a board member and Immediate Past President of the Association of Life Insurance Counsel, a member of the American, Iowa State and Polk County Bar Associations, the Association of Corporate Counsel and a past member of the Iowa State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics and Conduct (1984-1989) and the Iowa State Bar Association Board of Governors (1989-1995). She is a director of GuideOne Mutual Insurance Company, GuideOne Specialty Mutual Insurance Company and Sargasso Mutual Insurance Company, Ltd. Karen is also chair of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa's Advisory Council and past President of the Association of Life Insurance Counsel.