Executive Team Bios

Interim Secretary Karen Timberlake

Karen Timberlake returns to the Department of Health Services after 10 years away from government service. She most recently worked at Michael Best Strategies, supporting initiatives in health care and human services transformation. Before that, she directed the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, worked to ensure higher quality health care at a lower cost with the Wisconsin Health Information Organization, and was an Assistant Attorney General with the Wisconsin Department of Justice. She served as Secretary at DHS from 2008-2010, guiding Wisconsin through the H1N1 pandemic virus response.

Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk

Julie Willems Van Dijk most recently served as the Director of County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, a national collaboration between the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, providing data, evidence, and guidance to over 3,000 counties who are building a culture of health. Prior to joining the Institute, she was the Marathon County Public Health Officer and served on the boards of Aspirus Wausau Hospital and Bridge Community Health Clinic, and as an elected member of the Wausau School District Board of Education. Willems Van Dijk earned a PhD in nursing from the University of WI-Milwaukee and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Assistant Deputy Secretary Lisa A. Olson

Lisa Olson was recently the External Affairs Director at DHS before being appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary.  Prior to joining DHS, Lisa spent nine years at the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association, the statewide association of community health centers, serving most recently as the Policy and Program Director. She has a Master of Social Work degree and a BA from the University of Wisconsin. She is a board member for Share the Health, a free gynecology clinic for uninsured women in Madison.

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Last Revised: February 2, 2021