Meet Our Staff


Elena Keates

Senior Director
Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Elena brings to Elevate a passion for nonprofits and nonprofit leadership as a catalyst for social change. Prior to joining Elevate, Elena worked for nonprofits in Denmark and the US, in the global health, environmental, civic engagement, and democracy sectors. Her development experience includes direct marketing, building fundraising capacity, major gifts, and grants at organizations such as Indivisible, League of Conservation Voters and League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, and Greenpeace.

Elena holds an MSc in Technological and Socio-Economic Planning from Roskilde University, Denmark, and a BA in History and Russian Studies from Bucknell University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Transformative Social Change.

When not wrapped up in the world of grants, Elena loves to read, spend time with the family dogs and cats, and stream British TV and movies while enjoying a cup of Yorkshire Gold tea. She also enjoys growing wildflowers and native plants, reformer Pilates, and interrupting her husband whenever he watches YouTube videos.

What is your hidden talent?

I solve mysteries. Specifically, the kinds of mysteries you find in books, on TV, and in movies. I'm also a good person to have on your trivia team.

What punctuation mark would you be, and why?

I would be a question mark. I ask a lot of questions, including multi-part questions. I like to make connections between data points, uncover information, and think about contextual elements in new ways. Questions are how I get there.

What is your grammatical pet peeve?

Underuse of commas. Let's eat kids. Let's eat, kids. Commas save lives. I am team Oxford comma, and proud of it!

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