NACSA Names Elisa Westapher Chief Development & Business Officer

NACSA Names Elisa Westapher Chief Development & Business Officer

M. Karega Rausch, Ph. D., president and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), announced today that Elisa Westapher will serve as NACSA’s chief development and business officer.  

“NACSA is fortunate to have Elisa’s skill, knowledge, and expertise leading our development efforts,” said Rausch. “Elisa’s talent and depth of knowledge in a range of areas makes her the right person to lead these efforts and I could not be more excited.”  

In this new role, Westapher cultivates and strengthens NACSA’s organizational and business partnerships, including working with the board of directors, strategic advisory council, members, and federal policy partners. Westapher also leads the development team to ensure future financial growth and stability through maintaining strong relationships with NACSA’s current donors and creating new relationships aligned to NACSA’s strategic priorities.  

In addition, Westapher will head NACSA’s consulting division, Nexus at NACSA, which provides authorizers with customized services and supports to strengthen school outcomes. She assumes this role following the departure of Amy Ruck-Kagan, former division head of Nexus at NACSA. “While we are sad to lose Amy on our team,” said Rausch, “we have no doubt she will continue to make a consequential impact in education in her future endeavors – including continuing to support NACSA as a consultant on some projects.” 

“I’m honored to be named chief development and business officer at NACSA and look forward to building on the organizational relationships—with philanthropists, clients, and other education partners—that help us live out our mission to provide strong public charter schools in our communities,” said Westapher.  

Westapher has worked at NACSA for nearly 10 years and most recently served as the vice president of partnerships and development. 

Prior to joining NACSA, Westapher practiced law at Holland & Knight, LLP, where she specialized in education and commercial real estate. During her time there, Westapher helped state agencies, charter schools, nonprofits, and ed tech companies structure programs and transactions to achieve their educational goals and maximize flexibility under the law. 

Westapher holds a J.D. from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and a B.A. in government from Cornell University. Elisa lives in Oak Park, Illinois with her husband, two children, and dog. 

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