Elvira Elek

Senior Research Public Health Analyst & Program Manager for Substance Use Prevention, Evaluation, and Research

Elvira Elek


  • PhD, Social Psychology (with concentration in Statistics) and Women’s Studies Certificate, SUNY Stony Brook
  • MA, Social Psychology, SUNY Stony Brook
  • BA, Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, New York University

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Elvira Elek is a member of the Drug, Violence, and Delinquency Prevention research group in the Center for Justice, Safety and Resiliency. For nearly 20 years, Dr. Elek has worked as an analyst, project director, and co-investigator of multiple community-based evaluations and research studies related to substance use prevention interventions: the evaluation of the “keepin’ it REAL” culturally targeted and school-based substance use prevention intervention, a look at intervention adaption to rural settings, a longitudinal examination of peer intervention in substance use, and contributions to the development and evaluation leadership of an alcohol prevention intervention based on media literacy and active planning of messages. Dr. Elek’s more recent work focused on evaluating federally-funded, community-level substance abuse prevention programs, including opioid use prevention programs, within multiple states, developing substance use-related epidemiological reports and fact sheets, leading a formative examination of preventing alcohol use during pregnancy, and assisting in the evaluation of statewide anti-tobacco campaigns. She currently helps lead the national cross-site evaluations of four Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) community-based programs focused on reducing alcohol use, prescription drug misuse, other substance use, and related consequences.

Dr. Elek has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and is a frequent presenter at national conferences. She has experience with all aspects of the evaluation process from project leadership, study design, survey design, and literature review through data analysis and report writing. Dr. Elek has worked on numerous multidisciplinary research teams with researchers and practitioners in medicine, communications, health behavior, statistics, social work, psychology, sociology, and education.