Director of Veterans Program at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation Co-Founder and President, Leave No Veteran Behind
Eli Williamson, Director of the Veterans Program for the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, is a former staff sergeant with the U. S. Army and co-founder of Leave No Veteran Behind, an Illinois-based non-profit focused on employment opportunities for veterans. While serving as Executive Director at Leave No Veteran Behind, Eli implemented debt relief and transitional employment programs, workforce skills training, and community service opportunities for veterans making the transition from military to civilian life.
Prior to 2009, Eli served in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of “psychological operations” teams and as an Arabic linguist, working on outreach to civilian communities and supporting special operations forces. Before leaving the Army, Eli served as a retention officer, providing career counseling to a battalion of over 100 soldiers. He is the recipient of numerous awards and medals, including the Bronze Star, two Army Achievement Medals, an Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, and Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals.
Eli received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Linguistics (with a minor in African studies) from Luther College in Iowa and is presently completing a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management from DePaul University. Eli also worked as a wildland firefigher in Missoula MT and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Truman National Security Project.