Dr. Teresa Garate

Dr. Teresa Garate has spent over 30 years working throughout Illinois and the US as an expert in public health, social and human services, and education. She has lead large complex systems through innovation and change and is a respected speaker, presenter and subject matter expert in the areas of mental health, disability, education and public health.

Dr. Garate holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago and serves on national, state and local boards and committees promoting access to healthcare and services for people of all backgrounds. She has been a strong advocate for community inclusion and access for all and it is this passion that is embedded throughout her career.    In addition to her leadership roles in public service both at the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Public Schools, Dr. Garate is also an experienced administrator having served as CEO to two medium non-profit organizations serving people with disabilities in integrated settings.  She has served as a member of the Illinois Community College Board and represents the community college board on the Illinois Board of Higher Education since 2012 and was recently named Vice Chair of the board. Additionally, Dr. Garate also serves as a founding board member of Kennedy Forum Illinois which is a subsidiary of the National Kennedy Forum and was recently appointed to serve on Governor Pritzker’s Health and Human Services Taskforce.   Her most recent leadership role was as a member of the C-suite as the Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnerships & Engagement at the Gateway Foundation, a national non-profit serving people with substance use disorders across the U.S.  She is currently the Executive Vice President for Strategy & Growth at Roger’s Behavioral, a national non-profit with services in ten states specializing in meeting the mental health needs of children, teens and adults.

She holds two Bachelors’ degrees from Loyola University of Chicago, and Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Term Expires: June 30, 2025