Dora Elias McAllister is a Senior Research Associate with the Social IMPACT Research Center. Dora’s focus areas include healthcare, economic justice, and homelessness. She has extensive experience in qualitative and mixed-methods assessment, research, and evaluation. She is a strong advocate for giving voice to people not typically heard in research by putting their experiences and perceptions in a primary position.

Before Heartland Alliance, Dora worked on postsecondary and K-12 programs, projects, and advocacy initiatives, focusing on first-generation to college, low-income, and racial­-ethnic minority students. She recently completed work on a research project that explored barriers and challenges high school students encountered when exploring college or career options, and a previous research project focused on state and institutional policies that may have resulted in inequities in access to postsecondary education. She also worked on two RWJF-funded programs focused on increasing the enrollment and retention of underrepresented students in dental schools and providing learning and professional development opportunities for dental school faculty and staff and community partners.

Dora received her PhD in Education Policy and Leadership, with a Higher Education concentration, from the University of Maryland, College Park. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, mentoring younger professionals, playing tennis, reading, and traveling.

Dora Elias McAllister is a 2022 grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Research in Transforming Health and Health Care Systems program, managed by AcademyHealth.

Authored by Dora Elias McAllister