Karen Burkes

Director of State Operated Healthcare Facilities

Karen Burkes is the Director for the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities. She oversees the statewide health system, which is comprised of 13 facilities and serves approximately 2,300 individuals living with mental illness, Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (IDD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

Prior to this role, she was Deputy Director for Operations and the COO for DMH/DD/SAS where she was responsible for all internal operating and mission-support functions of the Division. She also led the state’s COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) effort to ensure that PPE was available across the state, especially in historically marginalized communities.  Prior to joining DHHS, Karen worked at the Department of Treasury for over 8 years where she led efforts to drive operational improvements, developed strategies to improve management initiatives, and managed the implementation and maintenance of several software systems.  Karen has also worked as an IT Consultant for in Chicago where she primarily worked on educational software implementation projects for Chicago Public Schools.  Karen also taught mathematics in Baltimore County Public Schools.

Karen holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Maryland and a Master of Business Administration from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.