The Urban Institute provides a uniquely supportive environment to conduct dispassionate analyses on the activities and contributions of civil society organizations, the public policies that affect them, and the people who create, volunteer for, and donate to them.
Elizabeth Boris became the founding director of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute in 1996. The center researches the role and impact of nonprofit organizations and the policy issues that affect them. The center also hosts the National Center for Charitable Statistics, which builds and maintains the nation’s largest research database on nonprofit organizations.
From 1991 to 1996, Boris was founding director of the Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Sector Research Fund, the first grant-making program devoted to supporting research on the nonprofit sector and philanthropy. Before her tenure at the Aspen Institute, Boris was vice president for research at the Council on Foundations, where she developed the research program and directed it for 12 years.
Boris is actively involved as an advisor and board member for various organizations in the nonprofit sector. In 2006 she received the Distinguished Achievement and Leadership Award from the Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action. She was named a member of the NPT Power & Influence Top 50 nonprofit leaders nine times by the NonProfit Times. The author of many research publications on nonprofits and philanthropy, she edited Nonprofits and Government: Collaboration and Conflict, with C. Eugene Steuerle, and wrote Working in Foundations: Career Patterns of Women and Men, with Teresa Odendahl and Arlene Kaplan Daniels.
Boris holds a BA from Douglass College, Rutgers University, graduating with honors and Phi Beta Kappa, and an MA and PhD in political science from Rutgers University.