Los Angeles, California
|Education:||Graduate, FBI Academy|
B.A. Sociology, Princeton University
|Affiliation:||Wayne Palmer administration|
Department of Homeland Security
Federal Bureau of Investigation
|Profession:||National Security Advisor|
Special Agent in Charge, CTU LA
Division Director, DHS
Division Agent in Charge, FBI CTD
|Spouse(s):||Bill Buchanan (husband)|
|Played by:||Jayne Atkinson|
|First episode:||"Day 5: 7:00pm-8:00pm"|
|Last episode:||"Day 6: 5:00am-6:00am"|
Karen Hayes was the Head of the Department of Homeland Security's West Coast operations based out of Los Angeles during the events of Day 5 and was called in to take control of CTU. By the beginning of Day 6, she had married Bill Buchanan. She served as National Security Advisor to President Wayne Palmer and Vice President Noah Daniels through Day 6, but following an illegal action on behalf of Jack Bauer, was forced to resign.
Before Day 5 Edit
Karen Hayes graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and later from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. At the Bureau, she rose through the ranks to become a Senior Agent and later Division Agent in Charge at the FBI's Counterterrorism Division. As of Day 5, Hayes served as the Los Angeles Division Director with the Department of Homeland Security. (Fox.com profile)
Day 5 Edit
Homeland Security takeoverEdit
When CTU Los Angeles was infiltrated with Sentox VX nerve gas, more than 40% of their personnel were killed in the attack. After informing President Charles Logan about the attack on CTU, Karen received authorization to take a team from the Department of Homeland Security over to CTU. Vice President Hal Gardner instructed Karen that Homeland would soon be absorbing CTU.
While driving towards CTU, Miles Papazian asked if Karen would have a problem with him replacing some of CTU's personnel with his own. Karen told him she had no problem with it and revealed she felt CTU performed inconsistently throughout the course of the day. She then called Bill Buchanan, the Special Agent in Charge of CTU, to tell him she was on her way.
Once Karen arrived and asked to use Bill's office, Buchanan asked her what her intentions were. Karen revealed that Homeland Security would eventually absorb CTU. Despite the fact Buchanan would lose his job once this occurs, he didn't stand in Karen or Miles' way. His only major concern was finding Vladimir Bierko and stopping him from releasing any more Sentox in the city.
When Jack Bauer worked covertly with German Intelligence Agent Theo Stoller in apprehending Collette Stenger, Jack was forced to give up the WET list to get Stoller to cooperate. When Karen learned about this, she demanded Jack to get the list back. Jack told her that wasn't possible and if she blew the operation, they would never be lead to Bierko. Karen and Buchanan reluctantly allowed Jack to go through with the operation.
Jack and Curtis Manning brought Stenger back to CTU, and Jack revealed that he had the memory card self-destruct before Stoller could send the list to his people. Hayes then learned that Audrey Raines was implicated by Stenger. While Karen wanted Rick Burke to perform a medical interrogation, Karen allowed Jack to talk to Audrey for ten minutes. While Audrey was being interrogated by Burke, Jack proved Stenger lied about Audrey's involvement. With help from Shari Rothenberg, CTU learned that Bierko planned on releasing the Sentox in the gas pipes at Wilshire Gas Company.
Jack managed to prevent the Sentox being released in 90,000 private homes by blowing up the gas company. He then had Curtis bring Bierko back to CTU, with him intending to track down Christopher Henderson and bring him in. Karen and Miles later asked Audrey to sign a document stating that Buchanan and CTU's actions were responsible for the day's events. Audrey agreed to sign it if Chloe O'Brian was kept on the staff and reported directly to her. Karen and Miles reluctantly agreed to these terms.
Manhunt for Jack BauerEdit
After working with Vice President Gardner for hours, Karen received a call from President Logan. The president told Hayes that he had issued a warrant for Bauer's arrest. Karen asked for the charges and Logan revealed they were for the assassination of President David Palmer. When Karen clarified that Jack was exonerated of those charges earlier, Logan revealed he has found new evidence. Despite feeling her people should be using their resources to find Henderson, Karen made finding Bauer a top priority.
Miles confronted Karen and told her the best way to find Bauer was by keeping watch on Audrey and Chloe. When Audrey decided to head home and catch up on some sleep, Karen had Valerie Harris place a transponder device on Audrey's car. However, with Chloe's help, Audrey was able to find the device and drop it off on a tanker. When Valerie contacted Karen and told her about losing Audrey, she and Miles immediately suspected Chloe was involved.
Karen and Miles set up a briefing meeting in the Situation Room, while they give Chloe a workload. When Chloe learned about the meeting, she asked Shari about it. Shari told Chloe that Miles found Audrey, and unbeknownst to Chloe, Shari was wearing a wire. While attempting to warn Audrey, Chloe was exposed as helping Audrey and they were also able to pinpoint Audrey's location. Karen had Chloe brought to a holding cell.
When Valerie discovered that Chloe escaped from CTU, she found video footage that showed Chloe speaking to Shari before leaving. Valerie had Shari placed under arrest and Karen decided to interrogate her. Karen asked Shari why she let Chloe go and she told her Chloe threatened to have her recommended for psychiatric evaluation. Shari also revealed that Chloe had a conspiracy theory that President Logan was involved in the day's events. Karen started to believe that Logan was complicit in Palmer's assassination and the selling of the Sentox.
When Chloe logged onto CTU's server remotely, Miles was able to discover that Chloe was at Bill Buchanan's house. With a TAC team less than five minutes away, Karen contacted Mike to learn if he had seen the evidence. After learning that nobody had seen the evidence, besides Logan, she called Buchanan and warned him to get Chloe out of his house.
Exposing Charles LoganEdit
Buchanan managed to get Chloe out and told her to head towards a hotel. When the TAC team contacted Karen and told her Buchanan wasn't cooperating, she demanded for them to bring Buchanan back to CTU. Karen covertly worked with Bill in helping Chloe and Jack, with everybody at CTU thinking she was interrogating him. They later learned that the audio recording implicating President Logan in the day's events was aboard Flight 520.
Karen, Chloe, and Bill helped provide Jack with passenger information, and Captain Stan Cotter became aware that someone was trying to hijack the plane. After locking Jack and Hans Meyer in the luggage compartment and pulling off their oxygen, CTU patched Jack over to Cotter's line. Jack was able to convince Cotter to let him out and let Jack search the passengers for the recording. When Jack told Cotter that his co-pilot, Scott Evans, was the one holding the recording, Cotter ended up getting knocked unconscious while letting Jack into the cockpit.
When a distress signal was sent out by Logan's associate Graem Bauer, Admiral Kirkland informed President Logan and Novick that Bauer would intend to use the plane as a weapon. When Karen and CTU learned of the distress signal, they contacted Jack and told him that he needed to land the plane, or he would get shot down. Not being able to get to Van Nuys Airfield in time, Bauer forced Evans to land the plane on a highway. Luckily no civilian lives were lost, as no cars were on the road due to Martial law.
With Logan sending the military units on the road to apprehend Bauer, Karen had Curtis and his team try to locate Jack first. Curtis found Jack and they managed to slip by the military and get back to CTU. After Jack arrived at CTU, Karen had a video conference with the Attorney General set up and told Jack he had ten minutes.
After cleaning up the recording, Chloe played it to discover it has been erased. She discovered that Miles must have erased it when he was in the room. Jack confronted Miles and nearly physically attacked him, but Karen managed to stop him. Feeling betrayed by Miles' actions, Karen slapped him across the face. Miles then left CTU and headed for the presidential retreat, as he earned a position in Logan's administration.
Buchanan and Karen were forced to postpone the conference with the Attorney General, and bigger problems arose. While Bierko was being transported to Division Command, his men attacked the transport van. Agent Davis informed Karen that Bierko's men were talking about a canister of nerve gas and the final attack. Karen was forced to cut Christopher Henderson a deal in order to learn Bierko's next action.
CTU learned that Bierko planned on taking over the Russian ship the Natalia and using the missiles to strike civilian targets. Bierko managed to infiltrate the ship before the missiles were lockdown, and nearly all of the crew was killed by the canister of nerve gas. With Kirkland's fighter jets too far away to get to the ship in time, it was up to Jack, Henderson, and Agent McCullough to stop Bierko in time.
After Henderson disarmed the missiles and Jack killed Bierko and his men, Chloe asked for Morris O'Brian to be reinstated to CTU. Bill and Karen asked why she needed him and Chloe revealed that Morris may be able to restore the recording. Bill signed off on Morris' return forms and Morris covertly worked with Chloe and Jack in getting Logan to confess to his actions.
Jack ended up getting arrested for kidnapping the president, but First Lady Martha Logan was in on the plan and coerced her husband into confessing in front of her. Jack had placed a microtransmitter on Logan's pen and Chloe played the recording for the Attorney General. After hearing the recording, the Attorney General issued a warrant for Logan's arrest.
Before leaving CTU, Bill felt it would be the last time he would see the place, but Karen insisted it wouldn't and she would put a good word for him. When Bill asked Karen if she wanted to join him for breakfast, she told him she needed to be briefed at Division, but she asked for a rain check.
After Day 5 Edit
After the events that took place in Day 5, Karen began a deep friendship with Bill Buchanan when she put a good word in for him and had him reinstated at CTU. Eventually they got married, but Karen's new job required it to be a long-distance relationship—the newly elected President Wayne Palmer hired Karen as his National Security Advisor and she was forced to relocate from Los Angeles to Washington, DC.
Day 6 Edit
Rivalry with Tom LennoxEdit
As Day 6 begins, America is suffering from multiple terrorist attacks, that started 11 weeks earlier. While serving as the National Security Advisor to President Wayne Palmer, Hayes was among the administration's high-ranking officers aware of the deal reached with terrorist Abu Fayed, who agreed to give up Hamri Al-Assad, the culprit of the attacks, in exchange for $25 million and Jack Bauer. President Palmer was ashamed of turning Bauer over to Fayed, and Karen insisted it was his only choice.
As the attacks continue to increase, Karen butts heads with Palmer's Chief of Staff, Tom Lennox, who proposes to create detention centers for anyone of Muslim descent. President Palmer then gets a call from Karen's husband Bill, who patches Jack through to Palmer. Jack tells the president that he escaped and that Fayed was really behind the attacks, and Assad came to America to stop the attacks. Bauer strongly suggested for President Palmer to call off the strike against Assad, but both Karen and Lennox opposed.
President Palmer decides to side with Karen and Lennox, and after the strike occurs, Palmer receives a phone call from Fayed, who demands for the release of prisoners. It turns out that Jack was right all along, but it is later learned that Jack managed to help Assad escape before the strike occurred. Despite Bauer, Assad, and Curtis Manning following a strong lead, Palmer is forced to sign-off on the release of the prisoners.
CTU soon learns that Fayed wants a specific prisoner released, in order for that prisoner to re-trigger his suitcase nukes. Palmer calls off on the release, but the engineer that Fayed needs managed to escape with help from a dirty guard. Karen advises President Palmer they have no other option, but to give Assad a pardon for his past crimes if he continues to help CTU and remaining faithful to his proposal of making peace with the West.
When watching live footage from a CTU operation, President Palmer and Karen are horrified when they witness one of the suitcase nukes go off in Los Angeles. The bomb was set off in Valencia, and Karen is grateful to learn that her husband wasn't anywhere near the blast. Karen then continues to argue with Lennox, over the prospect of hastily acting against potential terrorist countries.
Forced to resignEdit
When Karen learns that Lennox authorized the detention centers, without the consent of President Palmer, she becomes furious and confronts him about it. Lennox then gets help from Reed Pollock, in disposing of Karen. Lennox confronts Karen and tells her he has many people who will testify that her husband signed off on Fayed's release 18 months earlier. Karen threatened him and said he had skeletons in his closet as well.
When an Islamic-American agent was flagged by Homeland Security, Bill contacted Karen and asked her if she could talk to the president about it. Karen agreed that she would do so and she told President Palmer that she decided to resign. Palmer requested for her to stay, but Karen insisted and she asked to be transferred over to CTU Los Angeles. She told Bill what happened and that she will be in Los Angeles later in the day. She left the Presidential Bunker a little after 12:00pm PST (3:00pm EST).
Five hours later, Karen was still in Washington at Andrews Air Force Base waiting for her flight when Bill called to tell her that there was an assassination attempt on President Palmer. Karen told her husband that she would withdraw her resignation and go back to the White House. Karen arrived back at the White House moments before Vice President Noah Daniels meeting with the Cabinet. Daniels didn't want Karen present at the cabinet, as she was loyal to Palmer, but she had to be present due to being the acting National Security Advisor.
During the meeting, Daniels revealed his plan on retaliating against Fayed and Assad's country if another nuclear bomb went off. Without knowing Russia and China's reaction to the attack, Karen was convinced that Daniels could create a third World War. Daniels was convinced this was the best way to handle the situation. He had Admiral John Smith find a location where they could set off a warning strike, with minimum casualties.
Karen was convinced that the only one who could stop the attack was President Palmer. She met with Dr. Welton and learned that Palmer was put into a chemically-induced coma to relieve pressure on his cranium. Karen requested for Palmer to be brought into consciousness, as it was a matter of National Security. Welton was convinced that going to those lengths could cause permanent damage and he would need consent from a family member, preferably Wayne's sister Sandra.
Karen sat with Sandra and expressed her condolences for Wayne's condition. Karen told Sandra that Vice President Daniels planned on initiating a nuclear strike against Fayed's country. Sandra agreed with Karen's assessment that this would be disastrous for the country. Karen revealed to Sandra that Wayne was working on reaching out to the Middle Eastern countries with Assad, before the assassination attempt. After much struggling with the possibility of her brother dying, Sandra realized the only way to stop Daniels was to have Wayne brought out of his coma.
Welton brought Wayne out of his coma. When Wayne began to crash, Karen and Sandra were asked to leave the room. Dr. Welton and his staff were able to prevent any complications from arising. When Wayne woke up, he ordered the military to stand down from the nuclear strike. He called Daniels, while Karen and Sandra stood by his side. Wayne revealed he was resuming his duties as President.
When Wayne was convinced that he needed to stand in order to show the Cabinet he was in command, Dr. Welton highly advised against it. Both Karen and Sandra agreed that Wayne would be fine in a wheelchair, as President Roosevelt ran the country just fine in one. Wayne insisted that he wanted to face Daniels face to face and he had Welton inject him with adrenaline, which could cause serious damage to Wayne's condition.
With the 25th Amendment in effect, both Palmer and Daniels had to argue why or why not Wayne should remain in office. When the vote was 7-7, Attorney General Kevin Graves revealed that Palmer would remain in office. However, Daniels argued that one of the cabinet members vote was invalid. He said Karen was not a member of the cabinet, as she resigned earlier in the day and was never officially reinstated. Hayes objected against this and Graves had the case brought to the Supreme Court.
Karen called Bill to tell him of the situation, and told him she was scared that it would be her fault if Wayne lost the presidency, and thus her fault when Daniels bombed the middle east. Bill assured her that there was nothing she could have done. Later, after talking with Sandra, Karen was confident that Wayne would win the case. When Sandra revealed that Daniels withdrew the case, Karen became suspicious that Lennox had something to do with it. Karen confronted Tom and made a truce with him, and he agreed to tell her the truth one day. Lennox then got a call and told Karen it was about Palmer. They rushed out of the room and discovered Palmer decided to go forward with the nuclear strike.
Both Karen and Tom attempted to convince Palmer to change his decision, but he refused to call off the nuclear strike. Karen called her husband and asked if she could tell the president that CTU had a lead on the nukes. Bill told her that interrogation didn't work on Fayed, so she wouldn't be able to do that. When the ambassador of Fayed's country learned about the strike, he called Palmer and asked him to call it off. When the ambassador revealed that General Mohmar Habib, who worked with Fayed, was arrested, Palmer called off the strike.
Karen and Tom were shocked when Admiral John Smith revealed that the nuclear weapon was unarmed. The president felt it was the only way to learn the truth, without the slaughter of innocent lives. Karen also begins to notice that Palmer is weak, but he insisted that he was fine. Shortly after the ambassador arrived, Karen learned from her husband that they needed Habib to make a call to Fayed, as they entered a sting operation. Palmer and the ambassador made the call happen and Palmer dismissed the ambassador to his car, as he asked Karen to take him there.
When Karen learned the nukes were secured and that Fayed was killed, she brought the news to President Palmer and Tom. Palmer wanted to set up a press conference and Karen told him that she would have the press come down to the bunker. Palmer told her not to go forward with that plan, as he planned to return to the Oval Office, as the nuclear crisis was over. Karen informed Agent Lowry and Agent Hollister about the change, and Palmer and his administration officials returned to the Oval Office.
During the press conference, President Palmer began to rapidly stutter and he collapsed. He was brought to a local hospital and Dr. Welton informed Karen, Tom, Daniels, and Lisa about the president's condition. Welton revealed that the president had cerebral hemorrhage and it was unlikely that he would regain consciousness anytime soon. The 25th Amendment was put into immediate effect and Daniels took over command of the country. His first order of business was to shut down an operation authorized by Palmer. The operation, was a special request of Jack Bauer, and it required Bauer to give a circuit board from a suitcase nuke to Cheng Zhi, in exchange for Audrey Raines. Both Karen and Tom argued that the operation should be keep intact, as Audrey was the daughter of Former Secretary of Defense James Heller. Daniels opposed and Karen was forced to call Bill. She told him that Daniels wanted the operation shut down.
Noah Daniels ascendsEdit
Approximately at 3am EST, Ellen Price, Palmer's Press Secretary, gave a televised announcement about Palmer's condition. She then made a proclamation that Vice President Daniels would give a national address at 9am EST. After Tom left Daniels' office, Karen approached him on a matter. However, she learned that Peter Hock, from the Department of Justice, was in her office. Karen entered her office and greeted Hock. Hock was in charge of the interrogation of Reed Pollock and he presented video footage of Reed's interrogation. In the interrogation, Reed revealed that Buchanan had Fayed in custody at CTU Seattle, eighteen months prior to the days events. He stated that Karen deliberately covered it up and sealed the case in a folder when she worked for Homeland Security. Despite the fact that Bill didn't have enough evidence to hold Fayed, Hock warned Karen that someone would become the scapegoat for the terrorist attacks that took place in the last eleven weeks. It would either be her or her husband, or possibly both. Hock suggested for the scapegoat to be Bill, as he was "low enough on the food chain" to not damage the president's administration. Karen was asked to fire her husband, or she would have to go down as well. Shortly after, Karen confronted Tom and told him about the situation.
Karen called her husband and asked for him to call her when he had a few moments in private. When Bill called, Karen quickly informed him about the situation with Hock. Bill asked if Karen wanted him to resign his duties as the Special Agent in Charge of CTU Los Angeles. Karen told him that she had to fire him and Buchanan hung up the phone. She tried to call him back, but he didn't answer. Bill was forced to step down and he named Nadia Yassir as the Interim Director until Division could send over a suitable replacement. He was escorted out of the building by security.
When Russian President Yuri Suvarov set up a video conference with Daniels, Karen and Tom sat in. Suvarov threatened to deploy Russian military into a US military base in Central Asia, if Cheng Zhi is able to smuggle the FB sub-circuit board out of the country. After the conference, Tom suggested that there was a mole, as only selected White House and CTU personnel were aware of the situation with the circuit board. Lennox lead the internal investigation at the White House, and he assigned Karen to investigate CTU. Karen placed a call to Nadia and informed her about the situation with the Russian president. She also offered Nadia any agency service that she needed in order to get the component secured. Nadia stated that what CTU needed was Bill Buchanan back in command. She also revealed that she heard a hearsay that Karen fired Buchanan. Despite Nadia's claims that Bill shouldn't have been fired at a time of crisis, Karen insisted she wasn't at liberty to discuss the matter.
Approximately at 6:25am EST, Karen entered the Oval Office to speak with Daniels. She informed him that the Russian troops advanced forward and that the military base in Central Asia was kept on high alert. She then asked Noah if he knew where Tom was and Daniels revealed that Tom was on an operation for him. Daniels revealed to Karen that Tom discovered the mole and Karen was in shock when she learned it was Lisa Miller. Lisa unknowingly shared information with a lobbyist, Mark Bishop, that she had been romantically linked to. Lennox's operation involved falsified information about the component being destroyed, being sent to Bishop's Russian contact. Daniels then admitted that he had an intimate relationship with Lisa and he felt ashamed. Karen consoled that it wasn't his fault, as Lisa was a convincing liar. Daniels felt that his poor relationship with Lisa would cause the country to enter a war with Russia.
Though the operation was a success, there were some minor complications. Lisa had assaulted Bishop and she suffered from a loss of oxygen to the brain. Daniels began to feel sorrow, but Karen advised him that they had to handle the situation with the Russians. She felt the story about the component being destroyed would look more presentable if Daniels held a conference with President Suvarov. Daniels agreed with Karen's assessment and Melinda set up the meeting. Daniels informed Suvarov the component had been destroyed and that he had photographic evidence to prove it. Suvarov asked if it was the same evidence that one of his agents sent. Daniels and Karen were in shock when Suvarov revealed that he had Bishop's apartment under surveillance. Suvarov offered an ultimatum, the component must be recovered or destroyed within a 2 hour deadline. If the component wasn't recovered or destroyed by then, Suvarov would authorize a military response.
Rescuing Josh BauerEdit
Daniels had little faith that the component would be recovered, so he set up a meeting with his top advisors. As Daniels was going over the issue, Tom arrived in the room and requested to speak with Daniels and Karen alone. Daniels sent out his advisors and Tom revealed that Phillip Bauer, who had ties to Gredenko, was on the phone. Bauer was in possession of the FB sub-circuit board, as Cheng needed the component repaired. Bauer offered to turn over the component in exchange for his grandson and safe transportation to a country of his choosing. Despite Karen's pleas that Phillip was a sociopath, Daniels and Tom felt this was the only way to prevent the war with Russia. They decided to go forward with the exchange and Mike Doyle was given orders to take Josh Bauer into his custody.
Karen continued to oppose against the trade, as she felt it was morally wrong to sacrifice an innocent 16-year-old boy. Daniels didn't listen to Karen's advice, as he saw this as the only option to prevent a war with Russia. Shortly after, Karen received a call from Jack Bauer. He was being transported to District by Agent Turner and Agent Ryan, as Division felt he would be a hazard to the operation. Jack claimed that his father would manipulate the situation and had no intention to hand over the component. Before Jack hung up the phone, he told Karen to do everything in her power to stop the exchange. Karen then confronted Tom on her phone conversation with Jack. She told him that Jack had been more right than them during the course of the day and he was also Phillip's son, so his assessment would be more accurate. Tom told Karen that he wouldn't do anything to stop her if she tried to stop the exchange.
Karen called her husband's cell phone, but he continued to ignore her calls. She called the house phone and left a message on the answering machine. Bill realized that the issue was important and he took the phone call. Karen advised him of the situation with Jack and the exchange that was going on. She told him that he needed to do everything in his power to help Jack stop the exchange. In order to do this, Jack and Bill would need help from Karen on her part. She called Nadia and asked for the internal deployment grid of Jack's transportation. When Nadia asked why she needed it, she explained that Vice President Daniels wanted her to track Jack's transport. Nadia gave the pass code and Karen passed Jack's location off to her husband. With help from Buchanan, Jack was able to escape from CTU custody.
Buchanan contacted Karen and informed her that him and Jack were on their way to stop the exchange. Karen's access was then blocked and she told her husband that she would be taken into Secret Service custody. Before she was taken away, Karen told her husband that she loved him and appreciated what he was doing. She was then brought to a holding cell, where she was visited by the vice president. Daniels voiced his disappointment, as he felt that he had come to an understanding with Hayes. She explained that she was doing what she felt was best, as Jack didn't believe Phillip would hand over his component and she felt it was wrong to sacrifice a young teenager. He then asked Karen if Tom was involved in Jack's escape and Karen informed him that he didn't have any knowledge of it. Daniels warned Karen that if any blood was lost due to her actions, that it would be on her head and she would be the one to blame.
Tom confronted Karen and told her that she was right, as the component handed over to Mike Doyle was an explosive. However, CTU tracked down Phillip's location and initiated an air strike. Thanks to the efforts of Jack and Bill, Josh was rescued and Cheng was placed into custody. Tom informed her that she and Bill would be pardoned for their past actions, thanks to Vice President Daniels. Karen thanked Tom, as she knew he played a role in her release, and walked out of her holding cell.
Background information and notes Edit
- Actress Laurie Metcalf was originally cast as Karen Hayes before being replaced by Jayne Atkinson.
- Although Karen did not appear in Season 7, Howard Gordon confirmed in TVGuide that Bill and Karen were still together. Bill can be seen wearing his wedding band at times. A reference to her whereabouts was in the script but ultimately cut.