Rollins Alumna Tapped for Key Role in Congressional Office

March 01, 2023

By Gigi Marino

U.S. Rep. Max Frost and Sarah Elbadri
U.S. Rep. Max Frost and Sarah Elbadri ’13MA

U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost names Sarah Elbadri ’13MA as his deputy district director and director of constituent services for his Orlando office.

Newly elected U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost has hired urban planner Sarah Elbadri ’13MA as second in command in his Orlando office. She will serve as deputy district director and director of constituent services. This is a key leadership position for which Elbadri will liaise with different local, state, and federal offices and work directly with residents in Frost’s district. She is no stranger to government—in her last role at Orange County government, she administered the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and worked on the Housing for All task force.

“Sarah Elbadri’s commitment to Central Florida and vision for our community are huge assets to our office,” says Frost. “I can’t think of a better person to help us in our mission to deliver accessible housing, better roads, walkability, and overall support to improve the future of Orlando and beyond. We’re lucky to have her.”

While earning her master’s in planning and civic urbanism at Rollins, Elbadri embraced the spirit of community service and grassroots involvement. She worked as a graduate assistant in the Center for Leadership & Community Engagement (CLCE) and went on to found the Democracy Project, which is now one of the most popular and prolific student organizations on campus.

“It was such a great way to connect with the community,” she says. “CLCE worked with hundreds of local nonprofits. Just getting ready for SPARC Day, [Rollins’ annual day of service], and being introduced to so many community partners was impactful and critical at a time when I was looking at how urban planners decide how cities are built. It’s not just the public sector that decides but the private sector, and nonprofits help fill a gap.”

Although Elbadri had plans to become a pediatrician, a class she took in urban planning as an undergraduate sparked a passion. She credits Rollins for helping her realize this passion at the graduate level and set her newfound direction in motion.

“At Rollins, I learned that service could be your life—that you can integrate it into what you want to do for a living,” she says. “And Rollins has such a strong town-gown relationship, which exemplifies how a large institution can be a good neighbor and a good partner. That neighborly connectivity is something that has remained a theme for me regardless if I’m an urban planner or if I’m working for a U.S. Congressman.”

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