Lissa holds a clinical license in social work in DC, MD, and VA. She received her MSW in 2009, after completing a course of study where she received dual training in macro social work practices such as program development, evaluation, and oversight as well as clinical practice. She is currently completing her dissertation to obtain her PhD in Social work from the National Catholic School of Social Service at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Her dissertation topic, Risk and Resilience in Young Adults Who Have Experienced Homelessness, reflects her lifelong interest in work on the individual, community, and larger systemic levels to alleviate the impact of multifarious social issues and suffering among marginalized populations.
In addition to her strong educational background in blending best practices of working with underserved populations with management, advocacy, and larger systemic change, she also brings over 23 years of hands-on experience working in the non-profit sector. Her service to vulnerable populations began with direct service delivery as a crisis counselor in the early 1990s and later moving into leadership positions in management and agency oversight, and most recently serving in the role of Executive Director for two different local agencies. In this role, she has helped develop high-quality, advanced interventions, identified and obtained additional funding streams, and developed and executed program evaluation procedures including continuous quality improvement to ensure that the most vulnerable clients received the highest level of care and service.
Lissa is also active in the academic and research community. She currently teaches in both social work and psychology programs at several area universities. She has presented annually at numerous international conferences since 2009 on a variety of topics that impact long term health, housing stability, wellness, systemic and policy change, program implementation, and the importance of quality approaches to early intervention to prevent long-term housing instability and related risks. Lissa presented a talk as an invited keynote speaker at the 35th International Conference on Psychiatry & Psychosomatic Medicine in Brussels on November 1-2, 2018. She has also presented in Kampala, Uganda and engaged in charity work in Hyderabad, India, Madrid, Spain, and Kampala, Uganda. Lissa brings enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment to all areas of service, and is passionate about creating a stronger future society where fewer people around the world experience suffering while simultaneously providing ongoing care and support to those in need and those who provide services to them in the present.