Elizabeth Murphy (Founding Director) draws inspiration and conviction from Gathering Ground’s community of changemakers and visionaries whose dogged determination to improve community life is changing lives across NJ and beyond. Her work for Gathering Ground is focused on the organization’s vision, impact, growth, strategic partnerships, and financial sustainability.
In addition to her work with Gathering Ground, Elizabeth also runs a coaching and consulting practice named RATHÚ (an Irish word for thrive). She partners with philanthropic and charitable organizations as a strategist providing short and long term strategic advising and planning for Boards and executive staffs as they meet the challenges of leading their organizations during times of growth, crises, or turnaround. She has also co-created a number of original projects including the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook, a multi-year joint project of the Council of NJ Grantmakers and the Washington DC-based Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
Elizabeth has also served as the executive director for the American Liver Foundation Mid-Atlantic Chapter, and as a Creative Producer for four professional theatre companies (3 nonprofits and 1 commercial company). She has produced over 125 theatrical productions throughout New York City, New Jersey, Belfast, Dublin, London, Edinburgh, and Australia; primarily world premieres, but also as an assistant producer for three Broadway shows and several National Tours.
Elizabeth served as a member of NYC’s Regional Planning Authority’s Tri-State Committee on the Fourth Regional Plan, and has been an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, the University of Nevada/Las Vegas, and Hofstra University. Born and raised in Queens, NYC, Elizabeth holds dual citizenship – Irish and American, and from 2008 to 2012 she lived and worked in Ireland, during which time four of her poems were published. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s College /University of Notre Dame, and successfully completed two executive education certificate programs: Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business—Executive Education Program for Nonprofit Leaders (focus on strategy and leadership), and Rutgers University’s Leadership Coaching for Organizational Performance.