Our Staff

Eliot Haspel portrait

Elliot Haspel
Program Officer, Education Policy and Research

Elliot Haspel joined the Robins tribe in 2018 as Program Officer, Education Policy and Research, focusing on systems change and maximizing community impact through research-backed policy and advocacy.

Prior to joining Robins, Elliot served as Policy Analyst at the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. He has held multiple roles within the education sector, beginning his career as a 4th grade public school teacher. His background includes work with Teach For America, Leadership for Educational Equity, and 50CAN: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now. In each of these roles, Elliot’s work focused on providing all children the opportunity to access a quality education and thrive academically.

An avid writer, Elliot has had education op-eds published in the Washington Post, Education Post, and The 74 Million. He is a proud graduate of the University of Virginia, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and he also holds a Master’s in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Elliot lives in Richmond’s Northside with his wife and two young daughters.


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I went through a phase where I wanted to be a veterinarian, and even spent a few weeks shadowing my childhood dog’s vet. I was good with everything up until the time I sat in on a cat surgery, and that was the end of that dream.

What is your favorite thing/place/activity/meal in Richmond?
As the parent of two very young kids, I’ve gained an appreciation for how family-friendly Richmond is. We’ve spent many fun hours at the Children’s Museum, Maymont Children’s Farm/Nature Center, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

What is your biggest fear or pet peeve?
I hate wasps. This used to be a blanket phobia of all bee-related insects, but I’ve slowly gotten OK with the bumblebees that just want to pollenate flowers. Wasps, meanwhile, are just jerks.

What is your favorite cereal?

This might brand me as vanilla, but there’s something highly satisfying about a bowl of Cheerios with banana and strawberries.

Finally, what is the thing you love most about working at Robins?

The combination of the family atmosphere and deeply mission-driven staff makes it a wonderful and unique workplace!