Elissa Hawkins

Validation Officer

Elissa Hawkins is a Validation Officer at CAF America. She graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in International Security and Conflict Resolution with an emphasis in Cooperation, Conflict, and Conflict Resolution, and a minor in Spanish. She completed her Spanish minor while studying abroad at Universidad Antonio de Nebrija in Madrid, Spain. Elissa also interned at the Southern Sudanese Community Center of San Diego, the American Council of Young Political Leaders, and the Global Language Network. Before joining CAF America, she taught English in Seoul, South Korea and worked as a middle school substitute teacher.

Elissa is certified in Anti-Money Laundering (AML/CFT) by the Society of Tax and Estate Professionals (STEP).

Get in touch with me at elissa@cafamerica.org


What inspires me to do what I do
I love seeing the passion and dedication the charities have for the work they do. 

My former Korean students liked to call me Elsa since Frozen was very popular at the time. They had a lot of fun making references and jokes about it. 

Hapkido, Taekwondo, reading, and studying Anthropology

Book that moved me
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Something someone would be surprised to know about me
I played the flute in a Blues/Jazz band in Seoul, South Korea.

Slogans for life
“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. ” – Mister Rogers

Guilty pleasure
Traveling, but I don’t feel too guilty about it.

Thing that really baffles me
People who refuse to do anything about climate change. 

A person I’d love to meet
Kamala Harris and Eleanor Roosevelt 

Favorite meal
European Drinking Chocolate, Cassoulet, and Doenjang-jjigae (Korean fermented soybean paste soup)…I wouldn’t eat these together though!

Random fact about me
I am left-handed.

Go Back Close