SOF Background: CIA Middle East Analyst, Director for Iraq-National Security Council, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

Running for: US Senate

Bio: Elissa has dedicated her career to serving the country she loves. She happened to be in New York City on September 11, 2001, and by the time the dust cleared, Elissa knew she wanted to go into national security to protect our homeland. She was recruited by the CIA to be a Middle East analyst, and within a year she was sent on the first of three tours in Iraq alongside the U.S. military.

Her time in a combat zone led her to national security roles at the White House, where she worked as a civil servant, for whoever was the Commander-in-Chief. Elissa worked for President Bush as a member of his national security staff and was asked to stay on when President Obama took office. In the Obama Administration, she helped negotiate some of the Pentagon’s most sensitive national security matters from the fight against ISIS to the U.S. response to Russian aggression. No matter the issue, the values Elissa learned growing up in Michigan – a straightforward, common-sense approach – were what helped her succeed as a national security leader.

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