Elly has dedicated over 25 years to public health issues and inspiring generosity. She currently serves the outstanding faculty, staff and students at the School of Public Health on the campus of the University of Maryland. Previously, she worked with the PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) Foundation serving as the Chief Philanthropy Officer, and Interim President and CEO. She led the fundraising, development and philanthropy efforts of PAHO Foundation, which mobilized private sector resources for PAHO, the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO), which enabled them to fulfill their strategic plans to improve public health in the Americas. During her years there, she successfully built a fundraising department which generated over $5M for activities, including surveillance of infectious disease & non communicable chronic diseases. She also designed and lead a two-day training course on resource mobilization for PAHO staff.
Before PAHO, for more than nine years, she led the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Research Foundation where she increased revenue and restructured the department to position it for a $200M research campaign. She was recruited to the ADA after she served as Director of Major Gifts for the Alzheimer's Association National Headquarters in Chicago for seven years. She has worked with former presidential families, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and the philanthropy community to raise over $150 million for medical research throughout her career. She also served as a Director of Development for Lutheran Social Services of Illinois and as an executive director of a suicide prevention hotline in DuPage County, Illinois. She has served on various boards of directors and advisory councils and has received numerous awards for her contributions to the non-profit community, including a Point of Light recognition from President George Bush in 1990. She earned a Masters in Public Health from Benedictine University and a Bachelor of Arts from Truman State University. She is a member of the American Public Health Association and has been a certified fundraising executive since 1985. She volunteers at several non-profits, her church and serves as a mentor to several up and coming development professionals.