• Kara D. Ryan

    Associate Director

    “We must understand how all policies—including those that on first glance may seem unrelated to public health, such as immigration or education policy—shape communities’ opportunities to achieve optimal health.”
Kara leads CommonHealth ACTION’s work developing strategies to institutionalize equity in agencies, organizations, and businesses.  As part of this work, Kara develops evidence-based curricula and trainings for groups of all sizes, demographics, and sectors.  She is a strategic thinker, nimble communicator, and policy expert.  Kara currently leads CommonHealth ACTION's technical assistance activities for the Office of Minority Health, including work with the Federal Interagency Health Equity Team’s member agencies to map their priorities and goals with the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities and identify opportunities for collaborative action.  She also leads a partnership with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Connecticut Department of Public Health to facilitate and develop a state health equity strategic plan.  Her past projects include leading an equity, diversity, and inclusion initiative for The Conservation Fund and a health equity training and technical assistance program for the American Public Health Association’s 53 Affiliate member organizations.  A member of the organization’s leadership team, Kara plays a key role in program and communications strategy as well as staff and business development.  Prior to joining CommonHealth ACTION, Kara served as a Senior Research Analyst for the Health Policy Project in the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), where she worked to elevate policy and programmatic changes needed to advance health and wellness among Latino, limited-English-proficient, and immigrant populations.  Kara holds a Master of Public Policy from The George Washington University in DC and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.  Kara is based in CommonHealth ACTION’s headquarters in Washington, DC.