Elissa Gelber, JD, MSW, is a senior program officer at Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS). In this role, she works on initiatives to support children and youth who receive publicly financed health care, with a particular focus on collaborative, cross-system approaches to meet the needs of families engaged with child welfare systems.

Prior to joining CHCS, Elissa served as a senior associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, where she worked with jurisdictions under federal consent decrees to reform their child welfare systems. In that role, she provided technical assistance to state leaders with an emphasis on strategies for using Medicaid to develop community-based services that reduce family separation and support the well-being of children and families. Elissa has also served as a Family Justice Center director and clinical director at the Center for Justice Innovation in New York City, where she oversaw diversion, supervised release, alternative to detention, violence prevention, and clinical and case management programs, working in collaboration with the NYC Administration for Children Services, Department of Probation, and local hospitals, schools, and community-based organizations. Prior to that, Elissa worked as a case manager and program coordinator in school and community-based programs for youth and families; and as a Henry Luce Foundation Fellow in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Early in her career, Elissa practiced law at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, & Hamilton, where she focused on litigation and regulatory matters. She has continued to advise on a wide range of legal, compliance, and regulatory issues.

Elissa holds a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, a master’s in social work from Hunter College, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from New York University.