Elise HOUREN ’07

Elise HOUREN ’07

Elise HOUREN ’07 is Partner and Head of Communications at Tony Fadell’s Build Collective (Tony is the iPod inventor, iPhone co-inventor, Nest founder, and NYT best-selling author of Build).

Elise HOUREN ’07 is Partner and Head of Communications at Tony Fadell’s Build Collective (Tony is the iPod inventor, iPhone co-inventor, Nest founder, and NYT best-selling author of Build). Build Collective invests in and advises more than 200+ deep tech startups that are working to make the world greener, healthier, and safer. Elise works directly with founders and their teams around the world as they disrupt industries and have real impact on our global community.

Prior to Build Collective, Elise was a registered lobbyist in Chicago where she was Director of Government Relations for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

Elise attended Duchesne Kindergarten through graduation in 2007. She’s a second-generation Sacred Heart girl as her mom also attended Duchesne, as well as her sisters, cousins, and aunts. After graduation from Southern Methodist University in 2011, Elise did a year of service with AmeriCorps. She then went on to graduate school at the University of Chicago where she received her Master of Public Policy. She splits her time between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe with her two pups: Buck and Brisket. 

What is “deep tech”?

Deep tech is the hard stuff. Startups that are solving complex problems with science and engineering that can disrupt industries and change our world. Think advanced materials science, biotech, robotics, AI just to name a few.

How did Duchesne prepare you for what you do now?

Duchesne taught me that women can and should be strong leaders in the workforce. Instilling a can-do attitude helped shape me into a very strong-willed and determined person. Furthermore, Duchesne made me very aware of my community and the needs within it. I also learned to problem solve, which has enabled me to understand and tackle a variety of complicated technologies. Top that off with the writing skills thanks to my Duchesne education. Simply put: Duchesne challenges you to think deeper, think bigger, shatter every glass ceiling and do as much as we can for our global community.  

How did Duchesne prepare you for what you do now?

Goal 2: A deep respect for intellectual values.  Duchesne made me a lifelong learner. My need to learn more, do more, and explore all began at Duchesne. I am thankful to Duchesne for exposing me to different ways of thinking and providing priceless educational opportunities. I highly value that Duchesne taught me to think critically. I will forever have a love for learning.