As Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Elizabeth Francis leads the Council’s promotion of public history, cultural heritage, civic education and community engagement. She works with the Council’s board of directors and leaders in government, higher education, and cultural organizations to connect humanities resources and perspectives with challenges and opportunities in the state. Overseeing the Council’s relationship with the National Endowment for the Humanities, Elizabeth helps to position the Council’s work more broadly as well as to build partnerships and initiatives.
Before her role at the Council, Elizabeth worked in Corporate and Foundation Relations at Brown University for 10 years. She earned her doctorate in American Studies at Brown, and her book, The Secret Treachery of Words: Feminism and Modernism in America, was published by the University of Minnesota Press. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Hampshire College. Elizabeth has taught at Brown—most recently a course on philanthropy and civil society in Spring 2019; the University of Rhode Island; and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition, she has been on the board of the International Charter School in Pawtucket, RI, and chaired the Grants Committee as a member of the board at the Humanities Council. As a member of the RI Commerce Corporation board in 2013-2014, Elizabeth co-authored a strategic plan to develop the creative and cultural economy. She is a member of the Advisory Council for the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University and the College of Arts and Sciences at Bryant University. Elizabeth serves as a director on the Board of The Public’s Radio and is Vice President of the Community Advisory Board for Rhode Island PBS. In 2017, she joined the Advisory Council for the Dirt Palace at the Wedding Cake House, scheduled to open in 2020 after a transformative renovation by a Providence-based feminist art collective.