Karla Black holds Bachelors of Science degrees in chemistry and biology from the University of Illinois and a PhD in biology from Purdue University. She has served as a Strategic National Stockpile contractor for the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Allegan County in Michigan. She currently is the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) in Grand Rapids, Michigan which serves over half a million residents in urban and rural settings. In 2012, Dr. Black earned her Master Exercise Practitioner and Professional Emergency Manger designations. While at KCHD, she coordinated KCHDs successful Project Public Health Ready application and participated in KCHDs effort in achieving national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board.