Emerge Staff Spotlight: March 2024

  • Mar 15, 2024
  • Emerge Staff

Emerge Staff Spotlight, March 2024:

Elaine Hainey, Executive Director of Emerge Vermont

Elaine has been with Emerge for almost three years.  She is an elected city councilor in Essex Junction, VT in her 10th year of service.

Find out more about Elaine:

Why is your work at Emerge/Emerge Vermont important?

My work in Vermont is crucial for increasing women’s representation in government at every level. While we’ve succeeded in moving our state legislature to 45% women (the highest ever and 5th in the nation), local government is still dominated by old, white men—only a third of Vermont’s selectboard members are women. We have a long way to go to move that needle and build our pipeline of women leaders.

Who in politics inspires you? 

I am inspired by the founder of Emerge Vermont, former governor Madeleine Kunin, who was the first woman governor of Vermont, and still the only woman! She followed an amazing path from legislator to Lt. Governor to Governor to US Deputy Secretary of Education to US Ambassador to Switzerland. I’m inspired by her leadership and nonstop advocacy for women in government. It’s not every day you get to work for and with your hero!

What do you like to do in your free time?

Outside of work and my service as an elected official, I am an avid knitter and gardener. I love growing flowers and am constantly pushing my HOA’s rules about how much you can plant around my condo. I knit all the time and will finish my second sweater of the year this month.