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.

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Elisabeth Harrison

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed a bill requiring schools to contact child welfare authorities when they suspect sexual abuse of their employees. The bill also requires the state's child welfare office to investigate allegations of abuse in schools.

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Celebrity gossip blogs are speculating that Taylor Swift plans to spend the Fourth of July in Westerly, where the pop star owns a beach house.

Last year, Swift hosted a star-studded holiday bash in Rhode Island, drawing attention on social media. The singer has blogged that the Fourth of July is one of her favorite holidays.

Elisabeth Harrison

Starting in September, every public school in Providence will designate teams to meet one-on-one with transgender students and their families. Providence Public Schools spokesperson Laura Hart said it’s part of a new policy aimed at making sure schools respect the rights of transgender and other gender non-conforming students.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Central Falls High School has just graduated more than a dozen seniors who are the first in Rhode Island to receive special recognition for speaking and reading two languages. 

Elisabeth Harrison

House lawmakers have scheduled a committee hearing Wednesday on a bill that would add schools to Rhode Island’s mandatory child abuse reporting law.

The bill was filed in response to a sexual abuse scandal at St. George’s School in Middletown, after it became clear the school had failed to report numerous allegations of sexual abuse. The incidents span several decades and involve several former faculty members and one current employee.

Elisabeth Harrison

In the aftermath of the sex abuse scandal at St. George's School, Rhode Island lawmakers are considering legislation that would close a loophole in the state’s mandatory child abuse reporting law.

The loophole, first reported by Rhode Island Public Radio, seems to allow schools and other institutions to avoid reporting abuse allegations against their employees. 

Elisabeth Harrison

State police will not pursue any criminal charges following their investigation into sexual abuse allegations at St. George’s School in Middletown. The state police, working in conjunction with the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office, announced the end of their investigation on Thursday afternoon.


Religious leaders, members of the African-American community and elected officials gathered in Cranston Wednesday to condemn swastikas spray-painted at a recreation facility.

Speaking Monday, U.S. Senator Jack Reed echoed calls for unity among Democrats in the lead up to the presidential election. But Reed stopped short of saying it's time for fellow Senator Bernie Sanders to drop out of the Democratic nominating contest. 

"That’s a decision that Senator Sanders is going to have to make," Reed said "But I think it should be clearer and clearer to him that we have to be a united party to be successful in November."

Detectives in Santa Clara, California have reopened their investigation of the murder of a Rhode Island man that has baffled authorities for decades. The victim, Mathew Flores, had recently gotten out of the military and landed a job at the company Applied Materials.  He was shot to death in 1994 in the parking lot of the company.

Santa Clara Police Chief Michael Sellars says detectives were never able to find a motive in the killing.


Transgender advocates and civil rights groups plan to urge Rhode Island to adopt a statewide policy on transgender students in public schools. Last week the federal government issued guidance that says transgender students must be allowed to use the bathroom and locker room of the gender they identify with.

The Obama administration also instructed teachers to use the name and pronoun the family prefers.

Roger Williams University, Rhode Island College and Providence College hold commencement exercises this weekend, the start of several weekends honoring the class of 2016.

Providence College graduates will hear from Marathon Bombing survivor Heather Abbott at a ceremony at the Dunkin Donuts Center on Sunday. At Roger Williams, commencement exercises begin Saturday morning at the seaside campus in Bristol.


Higher ed officials have tapped Frank Sánchez, vice chancellor for student affairs at City University of New York, as the next president of Rhode Island College. He will succeed RIC President Nancy Carriuolo to become the the 10th president of Rhode Island's oldest public college.

Sánchez was one of four finalists for the top post at RIC.

“While it was a difficult decision, we selected Dr. Sánchez because of his commitment to students," said Bill Foulkes, chair of the Council on Postsecondary Education and head of the presidential search committee.

John Bender / RIPR

Thomas Spann, longtime coach for the Providence Cobras, said he was surprised to learn of the investigation into the program's founder, Providence City Council Majority Leader Kevin Jackson. On Wednesday, Jackson was charged with embezzling more than $127,000 from the youth track-and-field program and misusing campaign funds.

"Things are going great with the program, and this has nothing to do with the kids, the parents or myself," said Spann, reached by telephone on Wednesday afternoon.

Spann said the team is still holding practices three times a week, as usual.

Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island's Council on Postsecondary Education has scheduled a special meeting Wednesday, listing "Appointment of the new president of Rhode Island College" as an action item. The notice comes in advance of a full state Board of Education meeting, scheduled for next week.

The council is seeking a replacement for outgoing President Nancy Carriuolo, who resigns this month.