Elisabeth Jackson

The dedicated team at Bridge has a singular focus: to help youth on the path toward a brighter future.

Elisabeth Jackson
President / CEO

In early 2013, Elisabeth Ortiz Jackson, a licensed social worker with a Master’s Degree in Human Service Management and extensive experience in youth services, took over leadership of Bridge Over Troubled Waters as its Chief Executive Officer.

With a long-term connection to Bridge, first as Coordinator of the agency’s front-line Medical Van service, as a member of the Board of Directors, and then as Interim Executive Director, Elisabeth has a proven commitment to youth and strong ties to the legacy of responsive and accountable programming instilled by the agency’s founders over the years of their tenure. With her experience, expertise, and passion, Bridge is taking steps to confront and meet the multiple challenges that homeless and unaccompanied youth are facing today.

Born in Puerto Rico, and raised in New York and Boston, Elisabeth grew up in trying circumstances. Yet early on, her talent and feisty nature made themselves known. As a youth, she was part of the John F. Kennedy Library Corps. As a leader in Teens as Community Resources, she participated in grant review and diversity enhancement projects with both the Hyams Foundation and Boston Foundation. In her role on Boston’s Leadership Council on Housing and Homelessness, she is a key contributor to developing the city’s strategic plan to end youth homelessness. Elisabeth was nominated for the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley 2013 Women Who Live United Award and recognized as one of the Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” honorees in 2014.

On a national level, Elisabeth is a member of the Board of Directors of Youth Collaboratory, “a national network that engages stakeholders to strengthen outcomes for youth at highest risk for victimization and delinquency,” and a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Network for Youth. She has been elected to the Advisory Board of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC), a division of the federal Family and Youth Services Bureau, as well as the Advisory Board of the National Safe Place Network, to “provide guidance on the design, implementation, and evaluation of program activities to improve outcomes for runaway and homeless youth.” In 2015 she participated in President Obama’s Policy Briefng on Ending Youth Homelessness.

In addition to her many responsibilities at Bridge, Elisabeth also loves to spend time with her family. “I am a wife and parent of two teenagers, who keep me very busy. Fun Facts: I can easily cook for 40 or more people at a time, I collect decorative snow people, and I was a football coach. OK, fine – assistant coach, but I was a coach! (And since you ask…defense!) In all of my jobs, I have been serving young people in different capacities because I believe in their dreams and their futures.”