Vice President of Communications and Engagement
Elizabeth Cahill (she/her) serves as Vice President of Communications and Engagement at the Surdna Foundation, working closely with the president and staff on communications and narrative strategies. She was promoted to her role in January 2023.
Elizabeth guides the communications team to advance programmatic objectives, amplify the work of grantee partners, and engage the Andrus family, media, and other key audiences in the foundation’s work. A member of Surdna’s leadership and program leadership teams, she oversees a small narrative change grant portfolio and provides management support to the Thriving Cultures Program team and Program Officer for Philanthropy.
Elizabeth has over 18 years of experience helping foundations and nonprofits use strategic communications and digital engagement to bring about positive social change. Prior to joining Surdna in 2020 as Director of Communications and Engagement, she served as Chief Communications Officer and previously Director of Digital Communications at The Atlantic Philanthropies. There, she led communications to advance the foundation’s grantmaking priorities; share its impact and insights; and launch the Atlantic Fellows, a global leadership program for fairer, healthier, and more inclusive societies. She also oversaw a portfolio of narrative change, media, and archival grants.
Earlier in her career, she oversaw digital strategy and information technology for the New York Philharmonic. Prior, she managed programs at BRIC and the Consortium for Worker Education to train and connect communities, organize workers, and promote civic innovation. She began her career teaching at Homes for the Homeless.
Elizabeth is an active Communications Network member, currently serving on its development committee and as a juror for the Clarence B. Jones Impact Award. She previously served on the board of the Narrative Initiative. She earned a bachelor’s in linguistics and languages from Georgetown University and a specialization in social impact strategy from the University of Pennsylvania.
An avid reader, podcast listener, and outdoor enthusiast, Elizabeth lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband, three children, cat, and dog who often makes guest appearances on Zoom.
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