Elizabeth is a thought-leader, innovator, strategist and coach who believes in people and our power to build a just and equitable world. She is the founder of Raymond Whittaker Design, LLC a consulting firm committed to equity-leadership and organizational development.
With over 15 years of experience, she is known internationally for her warm, strategic and principled approach to leadership, coaching, institutional design and facilitation. Having trained and coached policy leaders, organizers, school and district leaders, philanthropists, non- profit professionals, political candidates and more, she centers her practice on deep listening, principled accountability, equity, integrity, empathy and impact.
Elizabeth has designed and implemented hundreds of programs, workshops, and trainings across the nation. Her work has spanned the globe, as she’s lead social justice and diplomacy projects in West Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe. She is a skilled facilitator with a unique ability to both meet participants where they are and inspire them to reach well beyond.
Elizabeth began her career in education as a teacher, curriculum designer, and later school principal. Being well-acquainted with the challenges schools faced, she thought it important to lend her voice to the policy landscape to help inform the practices that directly impacted school communities. That work led her to Leadership for Educational Equity, were she lead a national team dedicated to advancing the leadership of historically underrepresented communities in policy, advocacy, organizing and elected leadership. Elizabeth later journeyed to the Council of Michigan Foundations, where she lead the organization’s state-driven public policy strategy development, supporting collaborative philanthropic responses to Michigan’s most critical needs.
Recognized for her outstanding work in the education sector, in 2017 Elizabeth was named a Pahara NextGen Fellow, joining a cohort of 24 leaders across the nation recognized for their exemplary contributions and commitment to advancing equity in public education. In 2012 she was named a Leadership for Educational Equity Emerging Political Leaders fellow. Before returning to Detroit in 2009 to help lead one of the nation’s oldest culturally responsive learning institutions, she worked in curriculum development at schools on Chicago’s Southside, partnering with other scholars, activists, and teachers to train educators to teach issues of social justice with integrity.
Elizabeth is a trusted advocate and ally, and sits on several boards dedicated to advancing social justice. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, and is a Teach for America St. Louis alum. She is devoted mother, wife, writer, and bookworm who values love, honesty, justice, deep laughter and soulful vegetarian cooking.