Karen Adams 


Karen Adams, PhD, MT, is vice president of national priorities at the National Quality Forum (NQF). Dr. Adams oversees the National Priorities Partnership, a multi-stakeholder initiative that is establishing priorities and goals for healthcare quality improvement and public reporting.

Before assuming her position at NQF, Dr. Adams served as program officer of the Commonwealth Fund’s State Innovations Program. She also served on several quality related projects at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) including: lead staff on the Performance Measures Subcommittee and the Pay for Performance Subcommittee of the congressionally mandated study Redesigning Health Insurance Performance Measures, Payment, and Performance Improvement Programs; study director of the project Priority Areas for National Action: Transforming Health Care Quality; and co-study director of The 1st Annual Crossing the Quality Chasm Summit: A Focus on Communities. Before coming to the IOM, she was assistant professor in the Department of Medical and Research Technology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and was also the academic coordinator of the undergraduate medical technology program.

Dr. Adams received her undergraduate degree in medical technology from Loyola College, a master’s degree in management from the College of Notre Dame, and a doctorate degree in health policy from the University of Maryland. During her doctoral studies she was awarded an internship at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) where she researched and synthesized over 30 years of medical informatics research attributable to AHRQ funding and its predecessors. Dr. Adams is also a certified medical technologist with experience in a variety of clinical laboratory settings.