Karen Timberlake Photo

Karen E. Timberlake

Senior Advisor
Michael Best Strategies LLC


As a senior member of Michael Best Strategies, Karen focuses on shared value consulting, sustainable community development, and health system innovation. She works with clients who are pursuing shared value business development strategies and facilitates relationships between businesses, the government, and non-profit sectors to advance shared value in communities and across industries.

Karen also supports collaborative initiatives in healthcare transformation, concentrating on population health improvement. She has exceptional experience in healthcare delivery and payment innovation, as well as healthy community investment and development.

Karen is a collaborative leader and a trusted advisor of executive leaders in healthcare, community development, philanthropy, non-profits and associations, as well as elected leaders at the state and local government level. She has experience facilitating board development and organizational strategy sessions, cross-sector coalitions, and is frequently asked to speak at public and private events. She is known as a relationship builder, an excellent communicator, a person of high integrity, and someone who can work across the political spectrum, across industries, and up and down in organizations in order to achieve results.


Karen taught a post-graduate course on leadership at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in 2016. She has a particular interest in developing other collaborative leaders, as well as leaders equipped to deal with our most complex social problems.

Before joining Michael Best Strategies, Karen was the Director of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and an Associate Professor at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. She previously served as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and as Director of the Office of State Employment Relations.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Health Law Attorney of the Year, Health Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin, 2012
  • Woman of Distinction, Wisconsin Women in Government, 2010
  • Wasserstein Fellow, Harvard Law School, 2008

Professional Activities

  • Member, Board of Directors, National Network of Public Health Institutes, 2012-2016



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