Mayor Ben McAdams has selected Karen Hale to be the new Associate Chief Administrative Officer.
The position was created after the 2015 departure of former Deputy Mayor and CAO Nichole Dunn during her tenure at Salt Lake County, but has remained unfilled until now. Hale was confirmed by a vote of the County Council at its Tuesday work session.
“I’m very pleased that Karen is adding her experience and range of public service to our team. She is known for her ability to engage everyone in an effort to solve problems and make progress. She’ll be a strong advocate for effective policy at the county,” said McAdams.
McAdams said Hale most recently served as director of community relations and senior advisor to former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. She has also served as a Utah State Senator for eight years, holding committee assignments on the Public Education Appropriations Committee and the Senate Education Standing Committee. She serves on many community boards, including Primary Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees, Intermountain Healthcare, Inc., Visit Salt Lake, the Utah Film Center and KUED.
County Council Chair Max Burdick welcomed Karen to Salt Lake County.
“I feel the mayor has followed a thoughtful process in his search and has recruited the right person to fill this important position. Karen is an excellent choice and I look forward to working with her,” said Salt Lake County Council Chair Max Burdick.
McAdams said Hale is former publisher and editor of Parent Express, a news and resource magazine for Utah families. She and her husband Jon are the parents of five children and have five grandchildren. Hale will begin working at Salt Lake County on April 4, 2016.