A world traveller who loves food and wine, Elaina Mulé joined United Way of Southern Nevada two months ago. As Vice President of Collective Impact and Social Innovation, she is working to create bold and positive change in our community using research and creative thinking.
Elaina grew up in Buffalo, New York with three other siblings as part of a very tight knit family. Elaina’s previous role with United Way of Buffalo and Erie County allowed her to stay close to her family, but she is excited to get involved in the community as she makes Las Vegas her new home.
Elaina’s undergraduate and graduate studies at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and her interest in international development shapes her love of travel, because, as she says, “I will go almost anywhere!” As an undergraduate, she spent a semester in Geneva, Switzerland while working as an intern at the International Labour Organization. She loved it so much that she continued the work beyond her semester and spent most weekends traveling Europe with her diverse group of colleagues and friends.
Just a few of the places Elaina has travelled include Budapest, Hungary for a year-long graduate research fellowship at Central European University and Southeast Asia for a few months after completing her graduate thesis on Vietnam. “My friends and I did a four-day trek through central Laos and did village homestays along the way. It was my first time doing a long hiking trip and was an experience I’ll never forget” she says. With all of her travelling, including visiting family members in Sicily, it’s no surprise that she loves cooking and trying foods from different cultures, like this Turkey Meatball Soup from her Italian family.
Since Elaina is only two months into a new position with United Way, her day-to-day activities are constantly changing. As Vice President, Collective Impact and Social Innovation, she is currently building out the research and analytics capabilities for internal operations and community impact work. She says, “I want to develop data systems that are centered around the voice of the community.” Her goal is to develop community-wide strategies to collectively solve problems through data and innovative thinking.
Elaina hopes to be able to serve as a resource to empower people through information. “I’ve been really fortunate in my life to have had doors opened for me because of scholarships, mentors, and people being generous with their time, attention, and advice,” she says. “I hope to be able to give back to people in the same way!”