Rochester native Elena O’Connor joined the Gandhi Institute’s Board of Directors in the fall of 2016. Elena has been greatly inspired by her parents’ community activism and dedication to service. Her mother is active in numerous local charities and a longtime champion of diversity causes. Her grandfather helped to create the dental clinic at the Jordan Health Center and her father continues in service as a dentist, having dedicated much of his practice to the treatment of veterans.

Delighting in work with children, Elena has helped to introduce many young students in Rochester city schools to gardening and healthy foods through her work with the Emerson Community Garden and Foodlink. As a classical singer by trade, she’s also gives regular presentations and master classes in local schools to educate young people about opera and enhance their understanding of classical music. She is active in the United States and Europe and has appeared with several orchestras and opera companies around the country, including numerous guest appearances with the Rochester Oratorio Society and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.