Headshot Ellysa Smith

Ellysa Smith

(Central Region)

Ellysa Smith joined the DRNC board in December 2022. She resides in the Angier area and works at CuraHuman which offers human resources support for underserved communities including small business owners, nonprofit professionals, human resources professionals, managers, directors, and leaders.

Embedding her New York attitude into her coaching leadership style, Ellysa boldly leads others building trusting relationships for teams to innovate and grow together in unity. During Ellysa’s HR career, she has worked with well-known nonprofits including Phoenix House, QSAC, The New York Academy of Sciences and Teach for All. She also dabbled in other industries including hospitality, technology, education, entrepreneurship and healthcare.

After moving to NC in 2018, Ellysa worked at Transloc in Durham, Global Skyware in Smithfield and Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF) in Raleigh. Ellysa holds a Bachelor of Science in General Science with a Philosophy minor from Fordham University. She also holds a Master of Science in Human Resource Management and Development from NYU SPS. She completed her SHRM-SCP certification in June 2022.

Ellysa became involved with disability inclusion after her own diagnosis in 2016. Working in HR, it became clear to her that there was a lack of resources for the disability community. During her 8-year career she has been an advocate for disability inclusion in the workplace. She has intentionally supported organizations with DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) through advocacy at NYU on their DEI Committee and locally in her SHRM chapter at RMSHRM. Her recent work as Junior Board Member with the Lime Connect nonprofit has given her the opportunity to support young professionals with disabilities. She hopes to continue her impact at DRNC. She has been recognized locally as an Emerging Leader nominee and Athena Award nominee.

Disability Rights NC

About Us

Disability Rights North Carolina is a legal advocacy organization that fights for the rights of people with disabilities in North Carolina.

What is a P&A?

After Willowbrook, congress made sure that every state has a Protective and Advocacy agency. DRNC is the federally mandated...

Our Team

All staff currently working for Disability Rights North Carolina, listed in alphabetical order, including titles and background info...

Board of Directors

DRNC’s Board of Directors is a diverse group of individuals who are passionate about the rights of people with disabilities. All or...

PAIMI Advisory Council

In 1986, Congress took significant action to stop abuse, neglect, and other rights violations against people with mental health disabil...


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