Acting Executive Director

Liz Drew, Acting Executive Director, Heartland Alliance International

As Acting Director of Heartland Alliance International, Liz develops and brings to scale innovative human rights programming in over a dozen countries and oversees new policy and advocacy initiatives. Liz returned to her native Chicago in 2016 after serving in the Obama administration in Washington, DC. Liz was an adviser in the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), where she was responsible for developing and implementing new initiatives and partnerships to prevent and respond to gender based violence in humanitarian emergencies and migration crises. Prior to that, Liz became the first Director for Human Rights and Gender at the White House National Security Council, reporting to Samantha Power.  Liz also coordinated State Department policy on a wide range of issues, including LGBT refugees, sexual and reproductive health and rights, urban refugees, and expedited refugee resettlement for especially vulnerable migrants. Before her time in the Obama administration, Liz worked in the Senate office of then-U.S. Senator Obama on foreign policy issues after joining his U.S. Senate campaign in 2003. Liz has also lived and worked in Kenya, South Sudan, China and Ecuador and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and Asia to evaluate U.S. funded humanitarian response efforts. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree in Development Studies from Brown University.