Elissa Sloan Perry has over 20 years of experience as a staff member, board member, consultant, and coach with several individuals, organizations and initiatives in the areas of leadership, youth development, and the arts. Past clients include Greenlining Institute, Partnership for Working Families, New York City Mission Society, Urban Habitat, National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture, and PICO California.
Elissa joined Change Elemental in 2013 as the Program Catalyst for the Network Leadership Innovation Lab and became a Senior Consultant with Change Elemental in 2014 and CoDirector in 2015. Elissa co-creates opportunities for learning among Change Elemental staff and with values-aligned partners, synthesizes learning, and shepherds the sharing of learning, tools and outcomes. In addition Elissa supports Change Elemental clients with leadership development and coaching services for individuals and teams.
In addition to her work with Change Elemental, Elissa teaches in the MA in Leadership Program at Saint Mary’s College where she facilitates diverse, cross-sector, and multi-issue learning communities in developing and implementing leadership plans and practices and recently helped establish a Social Justice concentration.
Elissa enjoys bringing together theory and real-world practice and is driven by the values of human dignity, interdependence, and justice in both what she does and how she does it. She is co-author of “Doing More with More: Lessons from a Shared Leadership Initiative,” published in the Nonprofit Quarterly, “Toward ‘Complex Adaptive Philanthropy’: Preliminary Learnings from the Network Leadership Innovation Lab,” and “Leadership and Race: How to Develop Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice. ”She is also the lead author on “The Network Leadership Innovation Lab: A Practice for Social Change,” in the 2015 edition of the Handbook of Action Research.
Prior to joining Change Elemental, Elissa was an independent consultant and spent six years with the Leadership Learning Community where she worked with organizers, funders, scholars, and consultants to further the social justice field through the development, sharing, and application of leadership knowledge in its many forms. Elissa has also been involved in innovative initiatives to improve education and was a Vice President for the Different Ways of Knowing arts-infused model of public education.
Elissa holds a BA in Humanities with a concentration in social change and an MFA with concentrations in teaching and ethnic literature. She is also an accredited Values & Leadership Coach. When she’s not at Change Elemental (and even sometimes when she is!) you can find Elissa writing, dancing, exploring other art forms, and hanging out with trees.