Elizabeth Newbury is the Director for the Serious Games Initiative for the Wilson Center, leading Wilson's use of games in engaging the public around policy research. She holds a B.A. in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College, and a Master and PhD from the Department of Communication at Cornell University, where her research interests revolved around understanding multiple dimensions of gaming audiences and the surrounding culture of those who play video games. Her dissertation was a multi-method, cross-discplinary interrogation of the public consumption of games and the use of gaming in day-to-day practices, specifically in the context of esports. She has presented her research before both academic audiences and public audiences, ranging from the International Communication Association and the Association of Internet Researchers to the Serious Play Conference.
As lead of the Serious Games Initiative, she leverages games as a tool for the public communication of science and policy research. Current projects include the Fiscal Ship, a game about the federal budget developed and maintained in collaboration with the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy with the Brookings Institute. Collaborating across the Wilson Institution, her current works in progress include games pertaining to cybsercurity to the history of nuclear proliferation to polar initiatives. Under her leadership, SGI is pursuing how public policy and science can come together in an interactive platform to increase public dialogue and engagement around timely and critical issues of today.