Senior Engagement Officer
HOWARD B. EISENBERG SERVICE AWARD
Lisette R. Khalil, Law '07
Lisette’s career in nonprofit leadership began as an intern at the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation when she wrote the grant application that created First Breath, Wisconsin’s program to help pregnant women quit smoking. Nineteen years later, the program has served more than 20,000 women.
Lisette was drawn to Marquette Law School because of its strong focus on service and public interest law. This prepared Lisette for her role as operations director of the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation in Madison, Wis. At the foundation, she creates innovative programs that provide health education and direct services to women and families. Lisette is frequently asked to sit on steering committees and planning groups that shape state health goals and public health initiatives. While most of Lisette’s career has been in Wisconsin, she also spent time working in Nashville, Tennessee, where she managed grant processes for Family & Children’s Service, a large nonprofit human services organization.
Lisette and her husband, John, raise their sons in Oregon, Wisconsin, where she works to keep family a top priority. Her life mirrors Marquette’s mission of excellence, faith, leadership, and service. “The Jesuit commitment to service aligns closely with my beliefs and values. I grew up with parents who practiced different religions. I was accepted and welcomed in both communities. That inclusiveness and mutual respect are mirrored in the Marquette mission, welcoming students of all faiths and backgrounds. I attempt to express my faith through daily service to others in women’s and children’s health programs that address inequities and honor the dignity of every individual we serve.”
What keeps Lisette busy when not at work? She stays busy with her two sons — she’s coached soccer and is learning all about youth wrestling.
Who would Lisette have dinner with? “If I had the chance to spend a dinner with anyone, it would be my grandma pre-dementia. She passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer’s, and we miss her. I would love to hear her awesome laugh again, play cards with her and enjoy a relaxing dinner.”