Elizabeth Gillette

Elizabeth is a Policy and International Social Welfare graduate from the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW) and Council of World Women Leaders Graduate Fellow at The Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, King’s College, London.

She is a recent program graduate of the International School of Climate Migration, University of London, and a current board member of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy. She served as the CSSW Senator on the Columbia University Senate, former Vice-Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, member of the Columbia University Presidential Advisory Committee on Sexual Assault, the Diversity Commission, and chair of the Subcommittee on Anti-Racist Education. She was a graduate research assistant for both Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy as well as the Columbia Earth Institute, Center for Environmental Sustainability.

Her published work includes Violence Against Indigenous Women in the United States: A Policy Analysis, in the 19th Volume of the Columbia Social Work Review, inspired by her work with a Shaman and Oglala Lakota Elder. Her current research projects are on:

  • Advancing Workplace Equity: Towards Global Reporting Standards
  • Taxonomy of Diversity and Gender Equity in the Workplace
  • Qualitative Study to Understand the Everyday Experiences of Non-Syrian Refugees Living in Turkey

She weaves both practice and policy considerations into her thinking and research, combined with a rich and varied field experience from much work as a nonprofit and political fundraising executive. She began work in philanthropy as a nonprofit and political fundraising executive in 2004, primarily for healthcare and social service organizations, with a focus on human rights. She served as a chief development officer and board member of multiple nonprofits and has guided $45 million in transactions to support education, civil rights, and criminal justice reform during her development career.

As a low-socioeconomic, first-generation college graduate, she completed her undergraduate studies in interdisciplinary studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. A fervid advocate for Indigenous People’s rights, equality, and racial and climate justice, she actively supports her local community as a board member on the Human Services and Housing Fund board for the City of Fort Collins in Colorado.


I would like to acknowledge this statement was written in the traditional homelands of the Ute, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Lakota, Apache, and Comanche People, and I pay my respect to elders both past and present. I consider the many legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that connects us here today. In addition to my separate responsibilities to my society, I recognize that we have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality, and equity at the global level. Join me in working to dismantle white supremacy in our daily lives and promote anti-racist and anti-oppressive pedagogy in our work. As I travel beyond Turtle Island territories, I am committed to acknowledging the First Peoples of every community I visit. As leaders, we have a duty therefore to all the world’s people, especially the most vulnerable and, in particular, the children of the world, to whom the future belongs.

Director of Development and Marketing