Elena Vanko serves as the policy analyst for Vera’s partnerships with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, and the Oregon Department of Corrections.
Ms. Vanko recently completed work on a Vera project supporting the Tennessee Governor’s Task Force on Sentencing and Recidivism. Before coming to Vera, she worked as a part-time research associate for the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy, examining national and international drug control policies. Ms. Vanko also spent three years with the United States Program of Human Rights Watch, supporting their research and advocacy on numerous issues related to the criminal justice system, including sentencing laws and policies, prison conditions, and victims’ rights.
For three years, Ms. Vanko was a corps member with Jumpstart, an AmeriCorps program that trains college students to help underserved preschoolers develop the language and literacy skills they need to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Ms. Vanko holds a BA from Tufts University and an MA with distinction from the University of Essex.