Announcement Welcomes Elana Lopez as Chief People Officer

Former Avaaz Executive joins with plans to enhance the employee experience while leading the People and Talent team

Elana Lopez has joined as Chief People Officer to lead the organization’s HR, Recruiting & Talent, and People teams to new heights. Elana comes to with well over a decade of experience in the social impact sector and has a strong background in people and organizational management.

Most recently, Elana spent more than 7 years at Avaaz, focusing on systems and people management. She also had the opportunity to work on many campaigns and was especially honored to support on the planning and execution of the People’s Climate March in 2014.

Prior to that, Elana built her career from the ground up working in non-profit education settings, specifically with ESL adults and at-risk youth. She has been an activist for gender and women’s issues and has done everything from teaching sexual education to becoming a crisis counselor for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. She also worked at a shelter for trafficked persons in Tel Aviv from 2007-2008.  

Elana has a Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago, where she created her own course of study, focusing on how individuals use stories to traverse war, personal trauma, and other difficult events. She looked at how these narratives are constructed in comic books and graphic novels in particular, making her a self-proclaimed “Master of Comics.” She studied undergraduate at the University of Maryland, where she also developed her own major, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Culture and Media Studies, with a focus on the role of media in war and conflict.

Eager to continue her breadth of impact in the world, Elana has big plans for her new role at She is looking forward to implementing innovative ways to support the incredible staff, continue to improve on its unique and inclusive culture, and recruit and retain the best and most diverse talent pool in the industry. First up? Elana and her team will be rolling out a program to help with management skills and unconscious bias training. 

Elana is based in Chicago and is a very proud foster mom of three beautiful children (and two fur babies).

Written by
Justin Lyons
August 26, 2019 6:08 pm