Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart has served as Walkway Over the Hudson’s Executive Director since 2010. In that time, the Walkway organization and its responsibilities have grown dramatically. Under Elizabeth’s direction, Walkway has raised an additional $3.1 million from competitive grant funding and private sources to support major programmatic and capital initiatives such as the Dutchess Rail Trail connection, the 21-story Walkway Waterfront Elevator, and many Walkway Master Plan improvements including benches, lighting, signage, the Washington Street pavilion, and design and construction of both West and East Volunteer Pavilions. Elizabeth initiated the highly successful Walkway Volunteer Ambassador program, formulated a new strategic plan, implemented a new membership program, completed the second Camoin Economic Impact Study, and has led the Greater Walkway Experience branding and zoning initiatives. She has increased the Walkway’s operating budget from $227,000 in 2010 to $960,000 in 2015, with $500,000 raised from private sources. She has grown the Walkway organization from a staff of 1.5 to 6, plus several consultants. The Walkway Board, staff, and volunteers all share a passion for continuing the positive impact that Walkway has made in the Hudson Valley, welcoming over 500,000 visitors every year.
Elizabeth worked for a number of years in the field of international development for several top international NGO’s including CARE, Save the Children, and World Education. During that time she lived and travelled extensively in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Elizabeth has worked on staff and as a consultant in areas of nonprofit management, fundraising, public relations and strategic planning for national and regional organizations such as the YMCA, Special Olympics, the Creative Arts Institute, and the Cloud Institute for Sustainability. Prior to joining the Walkway, she served as the Project Coordinator for a private/public partnership that formed to promote historical and recreational tourism in the Mid-Hudson Valley, including: the National Park Service, Scenic Hudson, The Greenway National Heritage Area, and the Town of Hyde Park. She helped raise more than $3,000,000 to purchase and restore over 200 acres, re-connecting the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic sites with the beautiful Roosevelt Farm Lane.
Elizabeth grew up in the Midwest, has a BA in Sociology and International Studies and a Master’s degree in Intercultural Management. She has worked and lived in New York City, Nepal, England, Massachusetts and Connecticut. She and her family moved to the Hudson Valley in 2000. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her community leadership and currently is a board member of Dutchess Tourism, the Poughkeepsie Alliance, the Rochester Greentopia and serves on the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Revitalization Committee, the John Burroughs Black Creek Corridor Committee and the Hyde Park Visual Environment Committee.