Elissa Gelber

Elissa Gelber

Senior Associate

She, Her, Hers


I am part of the team that works with states to reform their child welfare systems to improve the experiences and outcomes of the children, youth, and families they serve. In this role, we provide support, introduce best practices, and connect states with national experts and other states that have successfully undertaken similar reforms. We also provide progress reports to the federal court and the public on the status of reform work.

I do this work because

I am committed to building intervening public systems that promote justice, rather than injustice, and that are reflective of the voices, values, and strengths of the families they serve.

I am most proud of

The moment I became a social worker, and for the opportunities it has given me to be part of the lives of such inspiring youth and families.

Work History

  • Project Director, Center for Court Innovation
  • Program Director, Cypress Hills Local Development Corp.
  • Staff Attorney, Children’s Rights

Education and Awards

  • M.S.W., Community Organizing and Clinical Work with Children, Youth and Families, Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College
  • J.D., Harvard Law School
  • B.A., Political Theory and Economics, College of Arts and Sciences, New York University
  • Luce Scholar, Henry Luce Foundation

When the day is done

I love to run in new places, take ballet classes, get messy with my children, watch bad TV, and read good books.