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About Dr. Elouise


Dr. Epstein is a digital futurist and Kearney partner based in San Francisco. She has over two decades of experience working as a trusted adviser working with clients to develop digital procurement and supply chain strategies.


Using her dry wit, historical anecdotes, and a very direct tone, Dr. Epstein is a frequent presenter about digital procurement. She is author of Trade Wars, Pandemics, and Chaos: How Digital Procurement Enables Business Success in a Disordered World and a co-author of, Disruptive Procurement–Winning in a digital world doing the right things in procurement. Also, her third book discussing how to build the next-generation supply chain that will launch October 11th at Digital Procurement World in Amsterdam.


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Who is Elouise

As a Kearney partner, Dr. Elouise shares her unparalleled subject matter expertise and skills in digital procurement and supply chain strategies with Kearney’s clients.

And often, that involves peering into the future to identify and head off procurement and supply chain issues years in the making. As a futurist, she says, “I work with extreme leaders or extreme laggards.” Extreme leaders, she says, embrace a challenge and look for a thought partner. “Extreme laggards look at the extreme leaders and think, ‘I'm just going to scrap everything and leapfrog to the future.’ And so, those tend to be my clients.”

Perhaps counterintuitively, those looks into the future are frequently grounded in a deep understanding of the past—Dr. Elouise has a master's degree in military history from Norwich University and a PhD in history from Bowling Green State University. “The ability to think and work on future issues gets me super, super excited,” She says. “I'm a historian by training, and so kind of balancing the past against the future is just, to me, endless fun.”

And yet, it was largely by accident that she found her career in procurement. After running external-facing digital operations for the San Francisco Opera around the turn of the millennium, Dr. Elouise realized that the future of work, especially in San Francisco, was in tech. She began working at a B2B dotcom called eBreviate, started by former Kearney partners. “Guess what? It was a procurement-based start-up,” she says. She had found her calling, and she hasn’t looked back in more than two decades.

Dr. Elouise loves sharing her expertise with others, whether it’s on client projects, as an adjunct professor on race, gender, and war for Norwich University, or as a prolific public speaker and writer. She is the author of Trade wars, pandemics, and chaos: how digital procurement enables business success in a disordered world and is working on a follow-up. 

She’s usually reading several books at a time, touching on a range of topics from cybercrime to Holocaust survival memoirs, and she brings those eclectic interests to all of her work, especially her presentations. “They’re full of social commentary and political commentary as seen through my eyes. When you attend my presentations, you’ll walk away with a greater appreciation of history, if not procurement and supply chains. I will not show up with half-baked material from five years ago, and I will not show up with over-hyped language or pat language or platitudes.

“I feel like I was born to be a consultant because I love talking,” she says. “I love relationships. I love meeting people.” She takes enormous satisfaction in bringing deep knowledge to her clients—and in connecting them with each other to keep the conversations going. “To me, that’s the greatest thing. When you introduce your clients to other clients, and they hit it off, they start building relationships. I just think that’s so great.”

Dr. Elouise also speaks publicly about her life and experiences as a proud trans woman. “I want to be visible. We're not all Laverne Cox or Elliot Page (both of whom she admires greatly). We're just normal people going to work and trying to do our best. I want to be known for being one of the preeminent experts in my field. If I happen to be transgender, that's great.” 

Dr. Elouise loves working at Kearney because the firm’s institutional expertise in procurement is such an excellent match for her own passion for the topic. “When you have that DNA of supply chain procurement, and you have a desire to be excellent at this … that’s a great place to work and a great starting point.”

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