Karen Timberlake Photo

Karen E. Timberlake*

Michael Best Strategies LLC

*Names that appear with an asterisk indicate a Michael Best professional not admitted to practice law.


As a senior member of Michael Best Strategies, Karen works with clients who are pursuing shared value business development strategies.

She guides strategy development and facilitates relationships between business, government, and nonprofit organizations to advance initiatives that benefit businesses and produce positive results for employees, customers, and communities.

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, nonprofits, and associations, as well as elected leaders at the state and local government level. She facilitates board development and organizational strategy sessions and 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.


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 Trustees and Executive Committee, ThedaCare, 2012 – present
  • Member, Board of Directors and Executive Committee, United Way of Dane County, 2012 – present
  • Chair, Vision Council, United Way of Dane County, 2016 – present
  • Member, Board of Directors, National Network of Public Health Institutes, 2012-2016



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