Executive Director

Elizabeth Powley, Vice President and Executive Director, Heartland Alliance International

Ms. Powley is the Executive Director of Heartland Alliance International (HAI) and Vice President of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights. In this position, she oversees a global organization that provides healing and justice to victims of human rights abuses and helps to build systems to prevent such violations. Since she assumed this role in 2012, the organization’s budget has doubled in size and has grown to serve more than 300,000 victims of violence annually across Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Ms. Powley is a values-driven leader and an expert in gender and post-conflict reconstruction. Before coming to Heartland, she worked in both the non-profit sector and the foundation world. Ms. Powley has spent a large part of her career in sub-Saharan Africa working on issues of governance and women’s political participation.

A former educator, Ms. Powley is the recipient of fellowships with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (2016) and the Truman National Security Project (2010). In 2007, Ms. Powley co-founded an all-volunteer effort, Every Child is My Child, which provides scholarships to high school students in Burundi and Rwanda.

Ms. Powley is accomplished at cultivating high-performing teams, generating resources, and building alignment between strategy and operations. She is known for an inclusive and transparent style; her approach to change management enables her to get buy-in across diverse global teams. Ms. Powley holds a BA in History from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa and an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC.