Karen A Hacker

  • Adjunct Professor
  • Former director, Allegheny County Health Department
  • Board of Visitors, former member 2014-2020,

Karen Hacker is the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP). From 2013-19, Hacker served as director of the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) and as secretary to the Allegheny County Board of Health.

She is an adjunct professor in the departments of health policy and management and behavioral and community health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and a clinical professor at Pitt Medicine. Previously, Hacker was executive director of the Institute for Community Health and the senior medical director for public and community health at the Cambridge Health Alliance with appointments at Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health.

Throughout her career, Hacker has worked with community partners to catalyze change in both practice and research environments. Her research has been responsive to community needs, with interests focused on adolescent risk and resiliency, child mental health, social determinants of immigrant health, and health policy. She has led efforts to incorporate behavioral health screening into pediatric primary care and worked with communities on issues of substance abuse and overdose prevention and youth suicide.



Hacker received an undergraduate degree from Yale University, her MD from Northwestern University, and her MPH from Boston University. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Boston City Hospital and her Adolescent Medicine Fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. She has extensive experience working with diverse populations as a public health leader, health care administrator, primary care physician, and community-based participatory researcher.

Selected Publications