Gilda Karu is a nationally elected member of the Estonian American National Council. Her parents were refugees who escaped in the 1940’s during the Communist takeover of Estonia. Though born in the United States, Gilda’s first language was Estonian, and she speaks, reads, and writes this Finno-Ugric language fluently. Gilda worked to promote Estonia’s independence which was regained in 1991 with the demise of the Soviet Union.
Professionally, Gilda is the deacon pastor of the First Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Chicago, an attorney, and a retired Federal Civil Servant. She worked almost 35 years for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service and served as the Civil Rights Director for the Midwest Region before retiring. Gilda holds degrees from Vassar College and IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Gilda lives in Arlington Heights, Illinois with her husband Fred Foy. She is a native of the Jersey Shore and gets back there often to visit family and friends. She still has family in Estonia and has visited several times.