Elizabeth A. Donnelly

Doctoral Student, Harvard University


Elizabeth A. Donnelly is a doctoral student in the department of government, Harvard University. Her dissertation is entitled, “Catholic Church Activism on Issues of International Ethics: The Case of Third World Debt and Structural Adjustment.” She holds an undergraduate degree in development economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and an M.T.S. in Christian social ethics from Harvard Divinity School.

Donnelly served on the staffs of the ecumenical lobbying group Bread for the World and President Carter's Presidential Commission on World Hunger. She worked as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Bolivia and Peru in 1981–83, engaging in editorial work at an ecumenical news service and pastoral work in the Lima shantytown. In the run up to the new millennium, she worked to promote the efforts of churches and NGOs to obtain debt reduction for poor heavily indebted countries.

Interested in promoting lay ministry in the church, especially in the global South, Donnelly has served for 12 years on the board of Jesuit Volunteers International, eight years on the board of the Gregorian University Foundation, and seven years on the board of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners. She is a trustee of the Mary J. Donnelly Foundation, and has long been active in Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, which seeks to educate foundation leaders on issues facing the church.

Elizabeth A. Donnelly is an Ethics and Debt Project participant.