Credentials: Director of Strategic Initiatives
2320 Sterling Hall
475 N Charter St,
Madison, WI 53706
Lisa Ellinger (MPA ’03) became the Director of Strategic Initiatives in January 2023. In this role, which is funded by the Kohl Initiative, Ellinger has taken a leadership role on several transformative school initiatives including a proposal to create a new undergraduate major in public policy and plans to move the school to a new building to accommodate the expanding number of students, faculty, and staff.
Ellinger initially returned to her alma mater in December 2019 as outreach director where she led the school’s far-reaching efforts to expand its outreach mission, leading a team of outreach, legislative policy, and communications professionals.
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.