Karina Ayala-Bermejo currently serves as the CEO and President of the Instituto del Progreso Latino. She is a highly regarded leader who has served in a variety of capacities in prominent Chicago entities. Karina joins Instituto from Metropolitan Family Services where she served as General Counsel and Executive Vice President and the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services. Prior to Metropolitan, she worked for the City of Chicago in Mayor Daley’s administration as Acting Commissioner, FirstDeputy Commissioner, and Managing Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Human Resources. Karina spent seven years as the Director of Community Services for the Chicago Bar Association where she encouraged attorneys to take on pro bono work and collaborated with the bar and various divisions of the Circuit Court of Cook County on initiatives to improve the justice system. She also served as the first Executive Director of the Sun Times Judge Marovitz Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth Program, a foundation that mobilizes the legal profession around mentoring youth, where she was instrumental in securing a $2 million-dollar award. Karina’s legal career began as an attorney in the Litigation Division of the Chicago Board of Education handling labor and employment matters. She holds a Bachelors of Science from Loyola University Chicago and Juris Doctor from DePaul College of Law.
Selected to participate in the Aspen Institute Justice & Society Program’s 2018 Justice & Society Seminar.