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Mayors Council

Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of Gary, Indiana

Karen Freeman-Wilson has been the Mayor of her hometown of Gary, Indiana since January 2012.  Mayor Freeman-Wilson is the first female to lead the city of Gary and the first African-American female mayor in the state of Indiana.

Mayor Freeman-Wilson has served in the public arena most of her professional life.  She was previously the Indiana Attorney General, the Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission and the presiding judge of the Gary City Court.   She was also a leader in the national drug court movement having served as the CEO of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and Executive Director of the National Drug Court Institute.

Freeman-Wilson is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.  Freeman-Wilson has been honored by the White House of Drug Control Policy, Governors of Indiana and various organizations throughout the United States. She was one of the 25 female governmental officials selected for the Governing Institute’s Women’s Leadership cohort for 2017.

A champion for children, seniors, the disabled, the disenfranchised and those suffering from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, Mayor Freeman-Wilson quickly attributes the signs of progress in Gary to the efforts of “Team Gary,” which includes city staff, members of other branches of government at the federal, state and local levels and those in the corporate, educational and non-profit arena who have joined the effort to rebuild the city of Gary.

Mayor Freeman-Wilson is the Second Vice President of the National League of Cities, chair the Criminal and Social Justice Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. She also chaired the committee that authored the U.S. Conference of Mayors publication on community policing.  Mayor Freeman-Wilson and her husband Carmen Wilson, II have a blended family of four children.