Barr Fellows

Elena Letona, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Neighbor to Neighbor

Elena was born in El Salvador. She attended Oberlin College-Conservatory where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance and music history, and the University of Massachusetts Boston where she earned a Ph.D. in public policy.

Elena has 30 years of experience working and serving the nonprofit sector as volunteer, organizer, activist, teacher, director, and consultant.

Between 1999 and 2008, Elena directed Centro Presente, an immigrant rights organization in the Greater Boston area. During her tenure, she led a change process that transformed Centro Presente into a member driven organization. In 2005, Elena’s work was recognized when she was selected to be part of the Barr Foundation’s inaugural class of Fellows.

Currently, Elena directs Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts, a membership organization of working-class, low-income, people of color and immigrants dedicated to building power to achieve racial, economic and environmental justice.