President and CEO


Karina Ayala-Bermejo 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, First Deputy 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.

Ms. Ayala-Bermejo holds a Bachelors of Science from Loyola University Chicago and Juris Doctor from DePaul College of Law.