Elizabeth is an interdisciplinary social scientist whose work involves researching and engaging directly with processes of local innovation and systems change in communities facing development challenges around the world. She directs the Local Innovation Group, which she created in 2017 at MIT D-Lab and now leads out of MIT’s Sociotechnical Systems Research Center.
From 2013 to 2021 Elizabeth was based at the MIT D-Lab, where she created and led the research program for the International Development Innovation Network (IDIN), a multi-university consortium led by MIT D-Lab and funded through a five-year agreement with USAID. She subsequently created the Local Innovation Group, which investigates how innovation happens in community-based contexts and the role that local innovation plays in sustainable development.
While at D-Lab, Elizabeth co-developed an MIT Professional Education course on inclusive innovation, created an open MITx course on lean research interviewing skills, and designed and taught D-Lab’s first class exclusively for graduate students, D-Lab: Field Research-Understanding Development Impact. She is a co-founder of the Lean Research initiative and routinely lectures and delivers webinars and workshops to audiences around the world.
Elizabeth holds a Master of City Planning degree from the International Development Group in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and an interdisciplinary social science BA in the intellectual history of modern western social, economic, and political thought (CSS) from Wesleyan University.