Chief Operations and Strategy Officer
Riisa Rawlins has served in leadership positions and as an independent consultant for various nonprofits in the St. Louis Region since relocating to the area in 2004. She has over 20 years of experience in cultural competence and stigma reduction, integration of primary care and behavioral health, and positive youth development. Her passion for relationship building is evident in all that she does.
Most recently, Riisa served as Assistant Teaching Professor and Program Coordinator for the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program of the School of Social Work at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. As Assistant Teaching Professor and Program Coordinator, Riisa helped to provide education and training to equip students and organizations to utilize a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary team approach to provide care in integrated settings.
Prior to this role, Riisa’s work included serving as a consultant for various organizations where she has leveraged millions of dollars in funds through grant writing to help area social service agencies work toward their mission in their respective areas of service from youth development to mental health; enhanced organizational stability by coordinating projects to support organizational change; and facilitated conversation and collaboration among executives and community based audiences in several fields including primary care and behavioral health.
Education and Involvement
Riisa has a BA in Political Science from Loyola University – Chicago and received a Masters in Social Work at the Brown School at WUSTL where she was a Bettie Schroth Johnson Women in Leadership scholar. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Political Science at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
Riisa has been invited to serve as a motivational speaker in various forums from high school graduations and conferences to youth and women’s faith groups. She serves on a number of local nonprofit boards and committees and was a member of FOCUS Leadership St. Louis class 41.