Karen Ayala currently serves as the Executive Director with the DuPage County Health Department. Prior to that role, she served as the Director of Community Health and Public Health Services since 2007. Prior to her work in DuPage County, Karen served as the Community Services Division Director at Winnebago County Health Department where she began her formal public health career in 1998.
Karen has worked in direct service, mid-level supervision and senior level leadership positions throughout her public health experiences. In addition, the remainder of her work experience has been in community mental health/ substance abuse prevention, intervention and treatment systems.
Karen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from Wartburg College and her Masters’ in Public Health from University of Illinois-Chicago in Health Administration. She resides in Elburn, IL with her family. Karen’s strong commitment to the social justice issues around public health, as well as her creative approach to system design have enabled programs she is responsible for administering to expand and become much more efficient in the service delivery.