As Managing Partner of the New Profit Innovation Fund, Eliza works with the senior leadership teams at organizations in the portfolio, helping them develop and grow sustainable models of impact and deliver superior results.
Growing up in New York City made it impossible for Eliza not to notice that there are great inequities in our country, an observation that was always supported by her parents’ fierce sense of social justice. As a child, it didn’t make sense that she got to go home to a bed while Buddy slept in the church entranceway on her block. As an adult, it still doesn’t make sense to her, and as much as she thinks her own children are incredible, she also knows that it’s just dumb luck that they were born into countless and seamless opportunities—a destiny that every child deserves. Eliza’s work has always focused on fighting the randomness of opportunity.
Eliza arrived at New Profit by way of the government and nonprofit sectors. For the past nine years she served in Mayor Menino’s administration in a variety of roles including Commissioner of Elderly Affairs, Executive Director of the Emergency Shelter Commission, and the Human Services Leadership Team. As the Commissioner of Elderly Affairs, she oversaw a staff of 80 to lead all elder related operations in Boston and aspired to touch every one of the 80,000 elders to ensure they had access to relevant opportunities and benefits. Similarly, in her role as the Executive Director of the Emergency Shelter Commission, she worked to ensure that no resident would go hungry or homeless in the City of Boston. As part of a larger team, Eliza had the privilege to work on many cross-departmental citywide initiatives addressing youth violence, family economic self-sufficiency, and community capacity building. In partnership with her city colleagues, she helped invent and lead ground breaking initiatives like the Circle of Promise, an effort to remove all barriers to student achievement in Boston’s turnaround schools.
Prior to these political appointments, Eliza began her journey in government at the Department of Neighborhood Development managing all the HUD funded homeless and supportive housing programs for the City of Boston.
With a belief that she should work with people directly before designing policies about them, Eliza’s career began at Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Inc., where she held many roles. At Bridge, Eliza counseled both adolescents and their families, designed and developed prevention programs, and trained staff in all aspects of child abuse, trauma prevention and treatment. There she learned an inordinate amount from the incredibly resilient youth she worked with fueling her desire to understand and set policies that would level the playing field at birth.
Eliza attended Hamilton College and left with a BA with honors in Comparative Literature and the best group of life long friends imaginable. She also holds a MPA degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, with a concentration in Human Services, Labor, and Education.
Eliza lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband Jon and two children Jake and Isabel. She’s not particularly religious, but in keeping with her Jewish background, does believe that it is a broken world and it is our job to fix it. Also in keeping with this tradition, she appreciates humor, food, and a healthy dose of self-deprecation.