Dr. Karla Buru, Chief of Staff

Portrait of Karla Buru

Karla Buru, DrPH, MPH, MSW, serves as DHEC’s Chief of Staff. In this role she assists the agency's director in the development and implementation of special projects, strategies, budgeting and agency initiatives on a day-to-day basis.


For more than a decade, Dr. Karla Buru has worked in public health and healthcare settings in South Carolina. In addition to her years at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), she has worked at the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the University of South Carolina Student Health Services. Dr. Buru has held various leadership positions related to quality improvement, governance, project management, and strategic planning. She has experience helping organizations achieve and maintain accreditation, including through the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). 

Dr. Buru earned her Doctor of Public Health from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she was inducted into the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, master’s degree in social work, and master’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Buru has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Romania and later returned as a Fulbright scholar to conduct research. She volunteers as a peer site visitor for PHAB. Dr. Buru is a graduate of the South Carolina Certified Public Manager Program, holds a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and is a certified Project Management Professional.