Elisabeth Buck is passionate about reducing poverty through community collaborations. In her current position as president of United Way of Central Iowa (UWCI), she leads the organization’s work in education, income, and health. Before assuming the role of president, she led UWCI’s community impact work.
Buck began her career in state government. For more than 20 years, she worked primarily in the offices of elected officials, including two attorneys general and two governors’ administrations. She was deputy chief of staff to Govs. Chet Culver and Tom Vilsak. In 2007, she became director of Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa’s fourth largest state agency. As the agency’s chief executive, Buck navigated the complicated state and federal systems during a recession to ensure Iowans received comprehensive, quality, and seamless services.
Buck’s efforts are not limited to her work endeavors. She is also committed to community service. She serves on an impressive 14 boards and committees, most notably as co-chair for OpportUNITY group, Evelyn Davis Center, and Central Iowa Works, along with board positions for National Skills Coalition, Mercy College of Health Sciences, and Central Iowa Workforce Investment.
Buck holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in economics from Iowa State University.