Elisabeth Wright Burak
Elisabeth Wright Burak is the Senior Program Director and research faculty at the Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy’s Center for Children and Families (CCF), where she directs projects focused on young children’s development and supports CCF’s work with national and state partners. She has more than 15 years of experience in public policy to support low-income children and families at the national and state levels. As Director of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs for Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families, Elisabeth led successful coalition efforts to expand access to ARKids First (Medicaid and CHIP for Arkansas children). In addition to improvements in Arkansas’s Medicaid program, she helped achieve other victories for families at the state capitol, including tax relief for families living in poverty and increased access to school-based health, substance abuse, and afterschool programs. Elisabeth originally returned to her home state of Arkansas to lead the Department of Human Services Office of Policy and Planning, where she guided a number of cross-system initiatives, including the agency’s priority agenda to reform the children’s behavioral health system.
At the national level, Elisabeth previously worked with state leaders on afterschool and early childhood programs at the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices and The Finance Project. She received Master of Public Policy and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology with honors from Smith College.