Executive Director, SBP
Liz McCartney co-founded SBP in 2006 after spending two weeks volunteering in New Orleans six months after Hurricane Katrina. What she and her then boyfriend, Zack thought would be a one-time, two week trip, led to a passion for direct impact and system change.
Today she is the Executive Director of SBP’s Louisiana operations. In her role Liz leads SBP’s ongoing rebuilding work in New Orleans and more recent responses to the flooding in Baton Rouge and tornadoes in NO East. Liz has also lead the expansion of SBP’s innovative Opportunity Housing program which redevelops blighted New Orleans properties into affordable homes for sale or for rent, which generates revenue which is re-invested into SBP’s owner occupied rebuilding program.
Through SBP’s partnership with Toyota, Liz led her team to reduce the average time to rebuild a house from 116 to 61 days. The model used to achieve these results has become SBP’s standard construction model, applied to all of the organization’s work nationwide.
In 2008 Liz was named the CNN Hero of the Year for her innovative work in helping Katrina survivors return home and in 2016 she was nominated as a CNN SuperHero of the Decade for her continued work in disaster recovery in South Louisiana following devastating floods that summer. Liz was also named a White House Champion of Change, and an Urban Innovation Fellowship at Tulane University to scale and replicate SBP’s model across the country.
Prior to founding SBP, Liz taught middle school in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, upon her return from Lesotho where she served with the Peace Corps.
Liz received a B.A. from Boston College, an M.A. from The George Washington University and an honorary doctoral degree from Muhlenberg College. Liz and her husband, Zack, live in New Orleans with their son, Jack, and two cats.