Elisabeth Jackson, Executive Director
In early 2013, Elisabeth Ortiz Jackson, a licensed social worker with a Master’s Degree in Human Service Management and extensive experience in youth services, took over leadership of Bridge Over Troubled Waters as its new Executive Director.
With a long-term connection to Bridge, first as Coordinator of the agency’s front-line Medical Van service, as a member of the Board of Directors, and then as Interim Executive Director, Elisabeth has a proven commitment to youth and strong ties to the legacy of responsive and accountable programming instilled by the agency’s founders over the years of their tenure. With her experience, expertise, and passion, Bridge is taking steps to confront and meet the multiple challenges which homeless and unaccompanied youth are facing today.
“Bridge’s founding Executive Director, Barbara Whelan, has been my mentor since she hired me to run the agency’s key outreach program, the Mobile Medical Van, several decades ago. Since Barbara retired, Bridge has maintained the gift of her incredible legacy, building innovative new responses to the needs of today’s youth experiencing homelessness. I share Barbara’s unrelenting drive to put young people first in all we do at Bridge. I am energized and determined to ensure that every kid who comes to Bridge at high risk leaves as a capable, healthy young adult. All youth at Bridge have lived with hardship and abuse. They may lack confidence, they may have lost their way, but they all have hope. Their hope inspires me; they need someone to believe in them.”
Born in Puerto Rico, and raised in New York and Boston, Elisabeth grew up in trying circumstances. Yet early on, her talent and feisty nature made themselves known. As a youth, she was part of the John F. Kennedy Library Corps. As a leader in Teens as Community Resources, she participated in grant review and diversity enhancement projects with both the Hyams Foundation and Boston Foundation.
Today, Elisabeth is a strong Latina presence in the Boston social impact community. She is a member of the Massachusetts Interagency Human Trafficking Policy Task Force, and of the City of Boston’s Continuum of Care Leadership Council.
On a national level, Elisabeth was named to the Board of Directors of MANY, “a national network that engages stakeholders to strengthen outcomes for youth at highest risk for victimization and delinquency,” and to the Board of Directors of the National Network for Youth. She has been elected to the Advisory Board of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC), a division of the federal Administration for Children and Families, as well as the Advisory Board of the National Safe Place Network, to “provide guidance on the design, implementation, and evaluation of program activities to improve outcomes for runaway and homeless youth.”
Board of Directors
Gloria L. Clough, RN, CS, Chair
Psychotherapist, Concord Counseling Services (ret.)
Elizabeth Duffy, Vice Chair
VP & Counsel, State Street Bank
Karen V. Morton, Clerk
SVP, Deputy General Counsel, Liberty Mutual Insurance
Jerome L. Rappaport Jr., Treasurer
Principal, Chestnut Hill Realty
Traci Lynette Brooks
School Based Health Centers Medical Director
Managing Partner, Foster & Eldridge, LLP
Senior Associate - Global Real Estate Advisor, Gibson Sotheby’s
Rita Galante Davis
Philanthropist and Community Activist
Senior Vice President, Eastern Bank
VP, Senior Marketing Manager, Citizens Bank
Daniel A. Nash
VP, Corporate Strategy, Pegasystems Inc.
Jon T. Perry
CFO, Shepherd Kaplan Krochuk, LLC
Executive Director, Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Elizabeth C. Ross
Partner, Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
Norman P. Spack, MD
Associate Physician in Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital