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Americares Names New Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer

  • June 30, 2021

Stamford, Conn. June 30, 2021 – Americares has welcomed Elana Lopez as its new senior vice president and chief people officer.

In her new role, Lopez oversees global human resources for the health-focused relief and development organization. She is responsible for developing and implementing best in class human capital leadership as well as recruiting, training, development and performance management for all Americares employees worldwide. She is also tasked with cultivating a collaborative and inclusive global culture that reflects Americares values, attracts top talent and advances innovation.

“We are thrilled to welcome Elana to the organization,” said Americares President and CEO Christine Squires. “Her extensive expertise in human resources, commitment to nurturing talent at all levels and dedication to championing diversity and inclusion will be vital to ensuring Americares has the best people to carry out our mission of saving lives and improving health for people affected by poverty or disaster.”

Lopez brings to Americares over a decade of experience in the social impact sector. Prior to joining Americares, Lopez served as the chief people officer at Change.org, the world’s largest platform for social change, where she led the organization’s human resources, DEI, recruiting and talent and people and culture teams. Prior to Change.org, Lopez held several senior-level operations and human resources positions at the Avaaz Foundation, where she oversaw staff management and development, strengthened organizational culture, developed and executed leadership and development trainings and led recruitment efforts.

A steadfast social justice advocate, Lopez’s experience also includes serving as the vice president of communications for Tzedek Chicago, a Jewish congregation rooted in justice and equity, and as a crisis counselor for victims of sexual and domestic violence at YWCA Chicago.

“I could not be more excited to join the Americares team and support the work our organization is doing around the world. I look forward to strengthening an internal global culture in which our programming and processes empower all staff to do their best work towards our mission,” said Lopez.

Americares helps communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters; increase access to critical medicine and medical supplies; improve and expand clinical services; and prevent disease and promote good health. Americares carries out health programs in over 20 countries and maintains offices in Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Liberia, Malawi, the Philippines, Tanzania and the United States, including Puerto Rico. Since its founding more than 40 years ago, Americares has provided more than $19 billion in aid to 164 countries, including the United States.

Lopez earned a bachelor’s degree in comparative culture and media studies from the University of Maryland, where she developed her own major focusing on the role of media in war and conflict. She holds a master’s degree in narrative theory and communication studies from the University of Chicago, where she also created her own course of study centering on how individuals use stories to traverse war, personal trauma and other difficult events. 

Originally from West Hartford, Conn., Lopez now lives in Amherst, Mass., with her partner, three children and two dogs.