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

Its crunch time to find that perfect holiday gift! If you still have shopping to do, we’ve got you covered with book picks from Nicole Merola, head of the Department of Literary Arts and Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design. She joins Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison with suggestions of books to give as gifts... or gift to yourself!

1. Memoirs of a Polar Bear, Yoko Tawada

This is Merola's suggestion for that person in your life who just can't stop talking about the election.

In a surprising revelation, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, says he first learned of suspected Russian hacking during the presidential campaign from media reports.

The medical examiner’s office is testing human remains uncovered at a construction site adjacent to St. James Chapel in Charlestown. The property once belonged to a notorious rumrunner, Danny Walsh, who disappeared in 1933.

Local historians say there are two theories about what happened to Walsh, who was last seen leaving a meeting with associates at a Pawtuxet restaurant. One theory is that he was killed, either by the mafia or a rival, and pushed over the side of a boat in "cement slippers." 


Debate is growing over the expansion of the charter school Achievement First in Providence. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says he supports an expansion by charter school group Achievement First. But a smaller expansion than the group is seeking. Achievement First wants to add more than 2,000 new seats by 2026.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Charter school expansion will be up for discussion Tuesday at the state Council on Elementary and Secondary Education. One proposal from charter management group Achievement First has generated objections in Providence. But the state’s education commissioner is backing the plan.

A new study from the Chronicle of Higher Education finds the highest paid private college president in Rhode Island is Richard Gouse, head of the New England Institute of Technology.

RIPR file photo

After  another day of deliberations, still no verdict in the embezzlement trial of Dan Doyle, founder of the Institute for International Sport.

The jury left the Washington County Court at about 3 p.m. on Friday and was scheduled to return Monday morning.

Doyle faces 18 counts, including forgery and embezzlement. Prosecutors tried to build a case that he pocketed thousands of dollars for personal use from his nonprofit institute, headquartered at the University of Rhode Island.

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.