Karen Williams has more than thirty years of experience supporting individuals with disabilities and the elderly in community-based settings. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, program development, care delivery to complex populations, and stakeholder engagement.
Prior to joining Advocates in 2017, Karen spent seventeen years at UMass Medical School, developing, overseeing, and growing programs that support people receiving long term services and supports (LTSS). Karen forged strong relationships with policymakers at Massachusetts agencies, developing solutions to complex operational and policy challenges. Karen was involved in the development of the Acquired Brain Injury and Moving Forward Plan Waivers, including the expansion of the state’s service delivery system. She oversaw and led the reconfiguration the state’s LTSS prior authorization services and worked closely with MassHealth staff on the first iteration of the state’s OneCare plan, overseeing the state’s related stakeholder engagement and Implementation Council.
Karen holds a master’s degree in social work from Boston University. She received her bachelor’s degree in recreation and parks management, with a concentration in therapeutic recreation and special populations, from California State University, Chico. Karen was in the Peace Corps early in her career, serving as a special education teacher trainer in Tunisia, North Africa.
In addition to her work as Senior Vice President of Intellectual, Developmental, and Brain Injury Services, Karen serves as the executive sponsor for Advocates' Shades of Pride resource group for LGBTQIA+ employees.
In her free time, Karen enjoys walking, kayaking, golf, and travel. She lives in Worcester with her spouse, Cindy, and their son and pug.