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

Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Ken Wagner is backing a plan to add 2,192 seats to the charter for Achievement First, a mayoral academy that currently operates two elementary schools in Providence. 

John Bender / RIPR

Dorcas International Institute is one of the state’s largest immigration and refugee organizations. Since the election, many Rhode Islanders have reached out to the institute, a nonprofit that provides education, resettlement assistance and other services for immigrants and refugees.

Executive Director Kathy Cloutier said some people are making donations; others want to know how they can help to make sure immigrants still feel welcome in the state.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

There have been anecdotal reports about a rise in hate crimes around the country since the presidential election. But it remains unclear whether there’s been a similar uptick in Rhode Island. That's because the state has no centralized mechanism for reporting suspected hate crimes.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin's office says the only way to find out would be to survey local police departments.

Elisabeth Harrison

After a contentious presidential campaign, many communities -- and even families -- remain divided over the election of Republican Donald Trump. That’s been a challenge for churches, synagogues and other places of worship, where people with strong feelings may sit side-by-side each week.

The state Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to raise tuition at Rhode Island’s three public colleges and universities. The increases would be small, but they will still have an impact on students and their families, and on state efforts to increase the number of college graduates.

Back by popular demand, Rhode Island Public Radio is planning the next installment of our series "One Square Mile." There's just one question... Where should we go next?

So far our reporters have fanned out to Central Falls, West Warwick, Newport, Burrillville, Narragansett Bay, Woonsocket, Bristol and Block Island. You can find the stories here. We've looked at everything from local history, folklore and food traditions to the latest local controversies.

RIPR file photo

Preliminary tallies show a “yes” vote statewide for a Tiverton casino, but the local vote remains close. In ballots cast Tuesday, 52 percent of local voters were for the casino, compared with 48 percent against.

Elisabeth Harrison

This week, in our RhodyVotes ’16 election coverage, we aired a conversation with Republicans about why they do, or do not, support Donald Trump. One piece of the conversation ended up on the cutting room floor, but it raised interesting questions about immigration. We’re going to spend a few minutes discussing those comments now.

Elisabeth Harrison

Across the country, teachers have been seizing on this election as an opportunity to bring civics to life in their classrooms. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison checked in with Rhode Island teachers to find out how they're approaching a contentious political season.

Marc Nozell / Flickr

National polling shows a tightening race for presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In Rhode Island, Clinton is expected to win, but Republicans say don’t count Trump out just yet.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR


Elisabeth Harrison

Calling it the first good financial news for Providence "in a very long time," Mayor Jorge Elorza said the city operated nearly $9.5 million in the black during the fiscal year that ended in June.

"This is the largest operating surplus in over 20 years in the city," Elorza said. "Our records only go back 20 years, but I’d say that this is likely the largest operating surplus in the history of Providence."

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

On Smith Hill, the heads of state agencies begin briefings on their budgets so far this year and their future spending projections. 

John Bender / RIPR

Nearly 30,000 Rhode Islanders have applied to vote by mail in the presidential election, up from roughly 23,000 in 2012. Those numbers from the office of Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea. Mail-in ballots are counted on Election Night. Gorbea says local boards of canvassers help to guard against vote fraud.

“The mail ballot comes in and is reviewed by the local boards of canvassers and if there are any kinds of discrepancies that seem to trigger a concern, they’re taken up by the state Board of Elections,” said Gorbea.

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