IDEAS Staff & Partners

We're here to help you to connect with a wide variety of service, social entrepreneurship, and innovation opportunities across MIT, the country, and the globe. We also provide guidance, funding, and connections for your project.

Our mission is to get you out there, working side by side with like-minded collaborators, to make a better world. You contribute your skills and your knowledge, your energy and your spirit, your creativity and your ingenuity to improve the way the world works—one project at a time. We'll help you build on your ideas and connect you with the resources you need to get started.

Program Staff


Keely Swan

Keely Swan

IDEAS Global Challenge Administrator,

As the Administrator of the IDEAS Global Challenge, Keely works closely with student teams throughout the competition cycle – assisting them with brainstorming, networking, and finessing their proposals. She also coordinates the competition’s major events, collaborating across departments and centers at MIT, working with a large team of volunteers, and assisting teams as they implement projects. Prior to joining the MIT Public Service Center, Keely spent several years managing an international campaign on human rights and gender-based violence at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University. Keely also worked at Brandeis University as the coordinator for the Brandeis-India Initiative and South Asian Studies Department. In 2007-08, she spent a year at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. Keely holds an MA in Anthropology and Women’s & Gender Studies from Brandeis University and a BA in International Studies from Franklin & Marshall College.

ryan mcelhose

Ryan McElhose

IDEAS Graduate Assistant,

Ryan McElhose is at graduate student at Boston College School of Social Work. Ryan holds his BA in Sociology from University of Kentucky. Following graduation, he served as the Pedro Zamora Public Policy Fellow at AIDS United in Washington DC and as an Assistant Medical Coordinator with Hombro a Hombro in Santo Domingo, Ecuador.  More recently, Ryan moved to Boston for a summer fellowship in the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics.

Marissa Reilly, IDEAS Grad Assistant

Marissa Reilly

IDEAS Graduate Assistant

Marissa Reilly joined the PKG Center as a Graduate Assistant in Fall 2017. In her role, she focuses on supporting IDEAS teams and winners, producing graphic design, and assisting with events and outreach for the competition. Marissa is a second year Master of City Planning student at MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning and is focusing on City Design and Development. She's particularly interested in the shared economy and the intersection of new technologies and the built environment. Prior to MIT, Marissa held internships at a Boston-based architecture firm and a green design and build firm in Brooklyn, NY. Most recently, Marissa worked as an associate at a planning and design firm in Berkeley, California. During her time in California, she developed a passion for traversing the city by bike and looks forward to seeing what the winter cycling scene has in store for her. Marissa holds a BA in Urban Studies from Vassar College.