About Emily

As Executive Director of HandsOn Network, Emily was responsible for supporting and developing HandsOn Network’s 250 affiliates to drive impact across the network. She facilitated and supported affiliates in key areas: volunteer engagement innovation; knowledge building and sharing; network building; brand development; sustainability; and capacity building. Collectively, HandsOn Network engages 1.8 million volunteers towards stronger communities annually.

As Executive Director of Oregon Campus Compact, a coalition of college and university presidents representing more than 100,000 students, Gilliland led the organization through significant change to develop and implement a new vision for advancing civic engagement and service learning in Oregon higher education. Oregon Campus Compact quickly became the largest AmeriCorps program in Oregon and mobilized the largest number of college students in service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the country. During her tenure, she worked with All Hands Raised, the Multnomah County “cradle to career” collective-impact partnership to develop an AmeriCorps VISTA program that matches college students with ninth graders to support their academic achievement and community engagement.

Past Experience

Emily has extensive experience in building and managing strong, high impact organizations at the local, state and national levels. Her experience includes lead content development for the first launch of freedomcorps.gov, the White House’s landmark volunteerism website, creating Portland State University’s first certificate in service learning as well as serving as Executive Director of Oregon Campus Compact then HandsOn Network.

Gilliland is a two-time AmeriCorps alum and has served more than nine years between two state commissions on service and volunteerism, including serving as the Chair of the Oregon Commission for Voluntary Action and Service.


Gilliland holds a philosophy degree from Indiana University and a master’s in liberal arts from St. John’s College.