Military Family Advisory Network Marks Its Fifth Year, Expands Board of Directors to Meet a Growing Need for Services

July 10, 2018

WASHINGTON — Now in its fifth year, the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) has become a premier resource for thousands of families worldwide who face the challenges of military life, providing tools to help them succeed. To further strengthen its efforts, MFAN is adding two board members, Elisa Basnight and Rory Brosius, who have extensive experience in supporting service members, veterans and their families.The expanded board will usher in the next chapter as MFAN works to reach military families and provide the services they need to thrive.

“MFAN has experienced incredible growth over the last five years. Because of the diversity of the military families we convene and the caliber of their networks, we have become the one-stop shop for insight into real military life,” MFAN Executive Director Shannon Razsadin said. “Elisa’s and Rory’s experience, networks and leadership will allow us to grow and expand to meet the evolving needs of military families.”

MFAN occupies a unique space in the military community, convening influencers and conducting qualitative research to determine how to best serve the modern military family. The organization has developed resources such as MilCents, a financial education program used by thousands of military families, and the Military Family Support Programming Survey, which yielded 5,650 responses that will inform future initiatives.

The new board members who will be contributing to MFAN’s growth are well-established in the military community.

  • Elisa Basnight, Esq., comes with significant experience in the operation, leadership and administration of corporate and government programs. She graduated from West Point and served as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. Since transitioning from the military, Basnight — also a military spouse and daughter — has continued to lead transformative change in a variety of senior executive roles on behalf of veterans and the military community, including as senior vice president of veterans programs of Health Net Federal Services with oversight of the administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) portfolio, as a presidential appointee at the Department of the Treasury as the chief of staff of the U.S. Mint and as director of VA’s Center for Women Veterans, which administers health care benefits, services and programs for more than 2 million women veterans.
  • Rory Brosius is the advisor for military families at the Biden Foundation and owns her own consulting business focused on social impact strategy. Prior to beginning her work with the Biden Foundation, Brosius was a vice president at ScoutComms, a communications, advocacy and philanthropic strategy firm focused on clients serving veterans and military families. During the Obama administration, Brosius served as the deputy director of Joining Forces, an initiative started by former first lady Michelle Obama and former second lady Dr. Jill Biden, to serve military and veteran families. In this role, Brosius inspired public and private organizations to come together and support military families in three key areas: education, employment and wellness. As the spouse of a Marine Corps veteran, she understands the needs of military families and advocates tirelessly on their behalf.

“MFAN is a true network with access to and input from all corners of military life,” said Basnight. “I am excited to join an organization that is committed to understanding and serving military families as identified by direct input and through rigorous research.”

In August, MFAN will host a national summit in Washington, D.C., where current and former advisory board members will join military family stakeholders to address three key issues identified in the Military Family Support Programming Survey: military spouse entrepreneurship, food insecurity and the instability caused by frequent moves.

“The demographics represented in MFAN’s recent survey — which are almost an exact reflection of the force — demonstrate that by connecting with MFAN you truly connect with real military families,” said Brosius. “I am thrilled to join this organization and I look forward to working with the current and former advisory board members as we lay the groundwork for addressing the needs of military families.”