As a doctoral student in the School of Public & International Affairs at UGA, Elise is interested in advancing and supporting research that generates greater dialogue on the political processes and policies that impact financially vulnerable American families each day.
Prior to joining SPIA, Elise served as the Executive Director of Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (HMHBGA). In her role, she supported a dynamic team to improve maternal and infant health through policy advocacy, research, stakeholder convening, education and access to vital resources through a high-performing call center. Elise has been featured in stories run by: Georgia Health News, WSB-TV Channel 2 News, Univision, WABE, GPB and other local media outlets.
Prior to her role at HMHBGA, Elise served as Director of Community Education and Financial Protection for Georgia Watch where she worked to empower consumers in the areas of healthcare, personal finance and consumer energy. Elise also brings experience from The Carter Center, where she conducted research and implemented programming for both the Mental Health Program and Global Access to Information Initiative. Her work at The Carter Center focused on promoting access to essential health resources and information necessary for economic development within transitional contexts, particularly in Liberia, West Africa. Elise is an Atlanta native and returned in 2012 after earning her degrees and serving communities in the State of New York for seven years as an advocate and organizer.
Elise received her MSW from the University at Buffalo (SUNY). She holds a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, where she focused on issues pertaining to inequality and human rights. At the University at Buffalo, Elise received the Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence and the Terese Eusanio Memorial Award for her dedication to community service. Elise has extensive experience in program evaluation in the fields of economic justice, women’s welfare, and public health. Elise’s prior research focused on gender inequality, working conditions and community health programs.
Elise’s public service interests include board & organizational development, policy advocacy, community infrastructure, strategic planning, and building the capacity of civic and non-profit organizations to make real impact for the communities they serve.
Registered Member – Osage Nation
Zell Miller Leadership Institute – Class of 2020
LEAD Atlanta – Class of 2019
City of Atlanta – Commission on Women – Post-3 At Large Appointee, Treasurer – 2017 – 2020
Annie E. Casey Foundation – Child Health Policy Fellow – 2018 – 2019
Women of Distinction Honoree – March of Dimes – 2018
New Leaders Council Atlanta – Class of 2016
30 Under 30 Georgia Nonprofit Leader – 2016
SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence – University at Buffalo (SUNY) – 2013
Terese Eusanio Memorial Award – University at Buffalo (SUNY) – 2013
American politics, political behavior, financial institutions, reparations policy, tribal sovereignty, consumer credit, debt and financial products and policies, and regulatory agencies.