Lisa Ellinger (MPA ’03) returned to her alma mater in December 2019 as outreach director. 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.
She 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.
Ellinger previously served as vice president of public policy for the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), where she focused on state and federal policy issues relating to Medicaid and insurance. She also led and represented WHA on a variety of Boards and Councils related to these issue areas. From 2008 to 2018, Ellinger worked at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) where she led the Office of Strategic Health Policy, responsible for policy development and implementation of the health, life, disability, and long-term care insurance programs for 250,000 state and local government employees across the state of Wisconsin.
Before joining ETF, Ellinger served as assistant director of the Wisconsin Health Project and worked as a policy advisor for the Milwaukee-based New Hope Project. She also served as a policy advisor on former Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle’s staff and worked in the state Legislature as a legislative research assistant in both the Senate and Assembly.
Ellinger, who has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from UW–Madison, is a member of the Board of Directors for Access Community Health Centers.