In March 2005, Elise Buik made history by becoming the first female president and chief executive officer of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles (UWGLA).

Elise has been instrumental in transforming UWGLA from its historical fundraising role into a community impact organization that identifies social issues, convenes experts, partners with other organizations and crafts innovative solutions. Under her leadership, UWGLA has launched a strategic 10-year Action Plan in order to tackle the new face of poverty through ten comprehensive goals with community and programmatic results. This new plan focuses on the three critical issues driving the social and economic
trends of Los Angeles County: meeting basic needs, improving educational achievement and helping families gain financial stability.

Elise presently serves on the City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board, as a Senior Fellow for the UCLA School of Public Affairs, on the advisory board for the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development Master of Public Administration program and on the boards of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and Southern California Grantmakers.

In addition to her civic and business duties, Elise is also a wife and mother to two small boys, Hudson and Davis. Being a mother has further strengthened her awareness and resolve that the future for her children is in peril if the public, private, business and non-profit sectors don’t unite in their efforts to move more people out of poverty.