Young Professionals Leadership Council Chair, Principal Programs Director
Elyssa is a community and programs director who is passionate about connecting people with opportunity, and promoting equity and systemic change. After retiring from a career as a professional dancer, Elyssa completed an MBA from NYU Stern, and began a new career focused on social innovation and helping companies, government agencies, and nonprofits through building community programs that elevate individuals and connect people and resources. She has built programs for clients like NASA and New York City Economic Development Corporation, all with a focus on equity-centered innovation and community-centric design. Elyssa is currently the Principal Programs Director at NationSwell, a social impact company, where she supports a network of 1000 organizations and change-makers who are tackling society’s most urgent challenges. She builds capacity for cross-collaboration around areas such as education, jobs, racial justice, gender equity, criminal justice, sustainability, responsible business and more. She is grateful to all the artists she has worked with as a dancer, for teaching her valuable lessons about building cultures that enable teams to reach inspired new outcomes. She loves meeting new people and making connections, learning about new cultures, solving problems, and grappling with big issues. A perfect weekend is curling up with a book (usually fiction) and her dog Lexi, trying a new restaurant, listening to an inspiring podcast, and wandering around her neighborhood, Red Hook, Brooklyn.