Elise Gurney has been around the world on her quest to find meaningful work. She studied economics at Carleton College before finding her way to Washington, D.C. to work as a researcher and consultant.

“I enjoyed the work but wanted to do something more meaningful, so I joined the Peace Corps in June of 2019,” Gurney said. “I served in Malawi as an environment and food security educator, but was unfortunately evacuated after nine months due to COVID-19.”

She moved to Kentucky and was excited to join the staff at The Council of State Governments.

“Coming back from the Peace Corps, I realized that I could combine my research skills with my desire to make a meaningful and productive contribution,” she said. “CSG ended up being the perfect fit for that. I was also excited to work in the policy space, and to come to a new-to-me state.”

At CSG, Gurney works as a senior policy analyst on the education and workforce team. In this role, she develops and implements policies centered around disability employment, telework, apprenticeships and more.

“My role entails everything from writing policy briefs on specific topic areas — such as how to address the mental health needs of workers amid and following the COVID-19 pandemic — to completing research requests for states to organizing webinars on different topics,” she said.

When she is not working, Gurney enjoys playing guitar, trying to keep her pet rabbit from eating everything in her apartment and taking dance classes.

She enjoys working with the talented team at CSG.

“Everyone is smart and dedicated, but also has interests and passions outside of the office. I also appreciate the opportunity to work with smart, dedicated policymakers; they always inspire me to do more,” she said.              

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