We are proud to welcome combat-wounded Sergeant First Class (Retired) Elana Duffy, U.S. Army, as a Honorary Marshal for this year’s New York City Veterans Day Parade.
Elana was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in the New York City area, in Essex County, New Jersey.
After graduating from Cornell University with undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, Elana worked in civil and logic engineering briefly before deciding to enlist for active duty U.S. Army service in 2003.
With deployments to both Afghanistan and Iraq, Elana served as an interrogator and counterintelligence agent, conducting multiple hostage rescue and strategic level intelligence operations, and eventually assessed into an elite clandestine unit.
Unfortunately, her career was cut short when she was injured in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq. Elana was awarded the Purple Heart medal and was medically retired as a Sergeant First Class in December 2012.
Upon her retirement, Elana returned to her home in New York City, where she volunteered for local, national and international veterans’ organizations including the United War Veterans Council, Team Rubicon, Team Red White and Blue, Mission Continues, NYC Veterans Alliance, Sierra Club Military Outdoors and multiple others. She also assisted in the creation of a New York City-based non-profit charity to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy and other disaster relief efforts.
In addition, Elana took on multiple organizational leadership roles, and co-founded a successful content creation and consulting firm, www.presenttensellc.com. After graduating with her MBA from Baruch College in 2020, she joined the staff of the college’s prototyping and 3D printing lab to assist the next generation of entrepreneurs and engineers.
Intent on solving the problems of veteran reintegration and helping those suffering with depression, suicide and homelessness, in 2015, Elana rededicated herself to engineering, founding the electronic platform pathfinder.vet. This online database tool helps veterans and families discover and connect to the best resources in their local communities. The platform currently lists over 10,000 assets for military, veterans, and families to connect with across the country, and supports informational and local events through calendars and newsletters to help the community continue to learn and reintegrate.
The company has also expanded to include data-driven impact analysis and system architecture consulting, combining Elana’s engineering and artificial intelligence background with her military studies and skills in motivational and applied psychologies to assist municipalities, organizations and donors looking to increase their impact on the veteran and underserved communities landscape.
Elana is an avid mountain and rock climber, dedicated social change advocate and the (very important) food provider to three exceedingly friendly cats.