Elizabeth M. Cranwell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Government and Spanish from the University of Virginia in 1986 and a Master of Arts in Public Communication from American University in 1996. She resides in Vinton, Virginia.
Ms. Cranwell is a real estate professional with MKB REALTORS, the largest locally owned real estate agency in the Roanoke Valley.
A former public relations professional, Ms. Cranwell was the publicist for the Virginia Festival of American Film, now known as the Virginia Film Festival, Press Secretary for former Congressman Rick Boucher of Virginia, and Communications Director for former Congresswoman Leslie Byrne of Virginia. She also provided private sector consulting in public relations and worked in several political campaigns. In addition, Ms. Cranwell taught Spanish at New Vista Montessori School in Roanoke, Virginia and worked as a substitute teacher in every division of North Cross School, an independent, private college preparatory school, also located in Roanoke.
As an active member of her community, Ms. Cranwell was the President of the Arlington Community Temporary Shelter, Inc. (now Doorways for Women and Families), Arlington County’s only domestic violence shelter and short-term homeless shelter for women and families. Upon moving to Roanoke, Ms. Cranwell served as a Commissioner on the Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission and as a Board Member and Marketing Committee Chair for the Science Museum of Western Virginia.
In addition, Ms. Cranwell served as President of New Vista Montessori School, a school she co-founded, President of the North Cross School Parents Association, a Trustee of the North Cross School Board of Trustees, and a Commissioner on Governor Tim Kaine’s Start Strong Council, which worked to expand pre-kindergarten education in the Commonwealth.
Currently, Ms. Cranwell is a member of the Board of Directors of Virginia CARES (Community Action Re-entry System, Inc.) which works toward the successful reentry and de-institutionalization of felons in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Ms. Cranwell is married to C. Richard Cranwell, an attorney and former member of the Virginia House of Delegates. They have two sons, Jack and Joe, both graduates of the University of Virginia.
Ms. Cranwell was appointed to the Board of Visitors by Governor McAuliffe in 2016 and re-appointed by Governor Northam in 2020.