Elisabeth Harrison

News Director

Elisabeth Harrison's journalism background includes everything from behind-the-scenes work with the CBS Evening News to freelance documentary production.

She joined the WRNI team in 2007 as a Morning Edition producer and freelance journalist. In 2009, she became a full-time reporter, and became the Morning Edition host in 2011.  She was promoted to full-time News Director in June of 2015.

Harrison's education is as wide ranging as her work at Rhode Island Public Radio. She has a B.A. in English and French from Wellesley College, and a joint M.A. in Journalism and French Studies from NYU.

A native of Los Angeles, Harrison loves good food and good movies.

Ways to Connect

John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation/Creative Commons License

Artist Nicole Eisenman, who received a BFA in painting from RISD in 1987 is part of the new class of MacArthur Grant recipients.

Eisenman works in a variety of media including painting, sculpture and printmaking.

Brown University has revoked an honorary degree awarded to the comedian Bill Cosby in the wake of allegations he drugged and sexually assaulted a series of women, allegations Cosby has repeatedly denied.

Brown President Christina Paxson, in an email to the campus community, explained the reason for the action, taken by the university's Board of Fellows.  

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A year ago, Rhode Island agreed to find better opportunities for at least 2,000 people with developmental and learning disabilities. It was part of a settlement after a federal investigation uncovered a program that funneled people with disabilities into jobs doing menial labor for very little pay. 

Wikimedia Commons

Barrington resident Trent Theroux completed his solo swim around Aquidneck Island Saturday. The 40-mile swim took Theroux a little less than the 17 hours originally estimated. He began his swim at 7 am and finished around 11:30pm.

Theroux raised some $30,000 for charity with the swim. He raised money for several organizations dedicated to helping people with spinal cord injuries.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

During a closed session on June 9, 2010, the board of Rhode Island's Economic Development Corporation received a briefing on what then-Governor Don Carcieri suggested was a "fairly significant transaction" that had presented itself to the EDC.

In another sign that summer is coming to an end, the U.S. Coast Guard has closed two seasonal boat stations. The Coast Guard said the stations on Block Island and in Scituate, Massachusetts shut down on Friday for the end of the summer boating season.

Coast Guard officials said they normally close the stations during the offseason, when fewer recreational boaters go out on the water.

Year-round stations remain open to respond to emergencies, including in the areas that were covered by the two seasonal stations.

John Bender

Providence Police have identified a 38-year-old man who became the city's 12th homicide this year.

According to police, Kyle Machado of Providence was shot to death in the Fox Point neighborhood over the weekend. Police said he was found at the intersection of Trenton Avenue and Ives Street in the early hours of Saturday morning, following reports of shots fired.

Police said detectives continue to investigate the shooting.

Another shooting took place in the Federal Hill neighborhood this weekend, but that did not result in a homicide.

Elisabeth Harrison

Providence College said university officials are conducting an internal investigation into what they call an "unfortunate event" early Saturday morning.

The university said a student was arrested by police.

According to Providence police, the student allegedly tossed lit cigarette at a patrol car, then ran away.

Police said 18-year-old Michael Dormon was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Dormon was held overnight and released on Sunday.

Police Major Thomas Verdi said Providence College has suspended Dormon, pending a disciplinary hearing.


This week on The Bottom Line, RIPR's Dave Fallon sits down with Discover Newport CEO Evan Smith to discuss the strongest tourism season in recent memory.

Providence Business News editor Mark Murphy, who usually joins the conversation, is on vacation, so RIPR News Director Elisabeth Harrison fills in.

According to Smith, food travel is taking off in a big way in Newport, and many tourists are increasingly seeking "authentic" experiences. That leaves an opening for new businesses, such as movie tours and kite surfing.

Elisabeth Harrison

The Federal Department of Education has given the go ahead to Rhode Island's plan to address inequities in the distribution of highly-qualified teachers and principals.

In creating the plan, the State Department of Education conducted a study, which found that high poverty, high minority schools are the most likely to have inexperienced teachers and principals on staff. The study also found that middle schools have the highest percentage of inexperienced teachers. 

Kristin Gourlay

On the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, Rhode Island State Police hosted a morning memorial service for the victims. Governor Gina Raimondo was expected to attend, along with U.S. Senator Jack Reed and other state officials.

Raimondo requested that U.S. and Rhode Island flags fly at half staff until Monday, September 14th.

Carlo Benini

Jhumpa Lahiri, the London-born author who grew up in Kingston, Rhode Island has been given the National Humanities Medal. President Barack Obama presented the award Thursday in a ceremony at the White House, honoring Lahiri and 20 other individuals and organizations with national arts and humanities awards.

Lahiri is the author of several novels including The Namesake, and her debut story collection, The Interpreter of Maladies, which was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Elisabeth Harrison

That's what Johnson & Wales University and Roger Williams Law School have teamed up to offer. The two universities announced a new articulation agreement on Thursday, which would allow students to enter law school after their junior year of college.

The program, available to students in JWU's liberal studies major, provides a Bachelor of Science  upon successful completion of the first year of law school at RWU. The universities are touting it as "the first agreement of its kind between a Rhode Island university and RWU Law."

Elisabeth Harrison

Millions of Americans will jump in their cars this Labor Day weekend, according to AAA Northeast. The non-profit auto club is expecting the largest number of Labor Day travelers since 2008, fueled in part by decreases at the gas pump and improvements in the U.S. economy.

An estimated 35.5 million people will travel 50 miles or more away from home, says AAA, a 1 percent increase over last year. The vast majority will travel by car, which may make for some pretty clogged roadways in New England.


Newport teachers wrapped up two days of training Thursday before the new school year starts after Labor Day. But their contract talks remain at an impasse. National Education Association of Rhode Island President Larry Purtill said there is still time to return to the bargaining table.

“Right now there’s nothing formally set up or any formal discussion but I would hope that would take place very quickly,” said Purtill.

The main sticking point is a contract provision that provides extra pay when class sizes go over the limit.