Elia James Sanchez

Deputy Chief of Staff
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As Deputy Chief of Staff Elia James Sanchez assists the Mayor in managing projects and special initiatives. She directs the Minority and Women Owned Business Initiative, which includes the planning, developing, and development of standards for long-term success of the program. Elia continues to serve as a strategic liaison with the Lawrence community. Elia also leads Crime Prevention efforts for the Lawrence Police Department.  

Elia came to the Lawrence Police Department from her previous position as the Director of the Indiana Commission for Hispanic/Latino Affairs. She also previously served at the City of Indianapolis Emergency Management Agency as their Strategic Initiatives Manager, and as a Marion County Probation Officer. Elia was an Adjunct Professor of Latino Studies at Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Saint Mary’s College and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from IUPUI. 

Elia also served as an advisor to three different mayors, Steve Collier Mayor of the City of Lawrence, Joe Hogsett, Mayor of Indianapolis, and former Mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard, as a member of the Indianapolis Latino Advisory Council. Elia currently serves as a board member on the Friends of Lawrence Police Foundation, Marian University’s Latino Leadership Initiative, Laundry & More, and the Fort Ben Placemaking Council. Elia is a graduate of the Senator Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series. She was recognized in 2013 by the Department of Public Safety for all her exemplary work receiving an award known as the Department of Public Safety Excellence in Government Award. In 2018, Elia received a Congressional Recognition for her service to the City of Indianapolis presented by Congressman Andre Carson. Elia was recognized in 2018 by the IUPUI Latino Studies Program for her work in the Latino community.