Elisa Basnight, Esq.

Elisa Basnight, Founder

Founder & Chair

Elisa Basnight, Founder of Girls Action Network, Inc. and the eldest of three, Elisa and her siblings were taught the importance of education, hard-work and civic responsibility, no matter what level of socieo-economics you fell.  Furthermore, after mentoring girls in middle and high schools for over 15 years, Elisa was troubled by a disturbing trend affecting young women.  Research showed her that greater steps were needed to increase workforce-ready graduates for the 21st century labor market, particularly in the areas of STEM.  Moreover, as the ethnic demographics continually shift in the U.S., she felt young women, particularly from underrepresented communities, were not being developed at the rate necessary to create a human capital talent pool reflecting a diversity of aptitudes and cultural perspectives to maintain America’s competitiveness in a global economy.  Therefore, Elisa founded the grass roots 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Girls Action Network, Inc. (GAN) ( in 2002, which continues to operate today with a super intentional focus on STEM careers, particularly those falling in the Supply Chain and Skilled Trades ecosystems.

A 5’3 women of color, ballet dancer from ages 3-16, and a military veteran, Elisa has personal experience in shattering stereotypes and is driven to unlock opportunities and make it better for others.  She understands that life will always be filled with challenges and so to remind yourself, “I think I can. I know I can.” She shares this life lesson in empowering young women who participate in GAN programs and services, along with the many inspirational voices who support the GAN vision. Elisa Basnight is a respected speaker as a senior executive leader within the Supply Chain industry and a licensed corporate attorney having practiced at law firms in New York City, New York and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and as Supply Chain Commercial Counsel within two global corporations. Prior to her private sector work experiences, she served in the U.S. Army as an intelligence officer, to include a Joint Chiefs of Staff appointment, is airborne qualified and is a two-time United States Presidential appointee.

Elisa is a graduate of the United States Military Academy – West Point, Boston University-Brussels, Rutgers Law School, and Harvard’s Kennedy School. She holds law licenses in NY, NJ and PA. Elisa has served as adjunct, teaching a module on Leading Change at Brookings.  She is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  She has authored and published op-eds and two (2) Law review articles: Resolving Conflict in the 21ST Century Global Workplace: The Role of ADR and Globalization, Governance, and Multinational Enterprise Responsibility: Codes of Conduct in the 21ST Century, which has become a Lexis Litigation Essential (Both Law Journal publications as Elisa Westfield). She is a member of the Association of Supply Chain Management, NACD and The Links, Incorporated. She and her family live in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

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