Alumna Ellinger named Outreach Director

Lisa Ellinger (MPA ’03) joined the La Follette School of Public Affairs as outreach director on December 16. In this new role funded by the Kohl Initiative, Ellinger is leading the School’s far-reaching efforts to expand its outreach mission.

Ellinger oversees a team of outreach, legislative policy, and communications professionals, who develop and implement a wide range of public programs and activities as well as engagement opportunities for state lawmakers.

“I am honored to join the talented team at the La Follette School at this exciting time of growth and opportunity,” she said

Ellinger also works closely with La Follette School faculty members to develop programming that allows them to communicate their research and teaching to a broad audience. In doing so, Ellinger is building and sustaining partnerships with diverse constituencies and expanding the School’s state and national reputation for policy research and engagement.

“We are thrilled to have Lisa return to her alma mater in this critical leadership role,” said Professor and Director Susan Webb Yackee. “She brings outstanding executive-level skills and fully embraces the School’s commitment to nonpartisan, evidence-based research, teaching, and outreach.”

Professor J. Michael Collins, who is serving a one-year term as the La Follette School’s outreach chair, said, “Lisa’s demonstrated success leading statewide initiatives and building trusting relationships in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors are essential as the School broadens its impact in the state, across the country, and around the world.”

Most recently, Ellinger served as vice president of public policy for the Wisconsin Hospital Association, where she was responsible for policy research, analysis, and development pertaining to state and federal programs that impact the state’s hospitals. She previously worked for the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds, including six years as director of the Office of Strategic Health Policy.

In addition, Lisa Hildebrand has been promoted to communications director after nearly four years as a senior university relations specialist. Senior University Relations Specialist Bridget Pirsch, Legislative Outreach Director Heidi Normandin (MA ’98), and Senior Outreach Specialist Bonnie Mac Ritchie make up the remainder of the Outreach Team.

“These highly talented and dedicated staff have developed innovative outreach programs for many years,” said Yackee. “The La Follette School is extremely fortunate to have them on our staff.”