Atlantic Beach Mayor: Next target of former FBI agent and UNF professor

Hannah Lee

UNF instructor and former FBI Special Agent, Ellen Glasser, is running for mayor of Atlantic Beach.

Glasser teaches several classes in criminology and the legal system at UNF. Although Glasser has no political background, her past is certainly filled with leadership positions. She was the past president of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, an inaugural coordinator of the North Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force, and has served on several boards relating to Atlantic Beach such as the Atlantic Beach Community Development Board.

Glasser is a former FBI agent and a UNF professor. Photo by Lee Giat

“The thing that prepared me the most I think was when I was elected the president of this national organization of FBI agents. I was the first woman elected president of this organization, so that already was a testament to my leadership skills that I was elected by my peers to lead a traditionally male organization,” Glasser said.

Being the president of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI taught Glasser how to manage a large budget and how to implement policies and programs. Through that position, Glasser stated she found the confidence to be a leader to her community.

Glasser decided to run for office because she wants to give back to her community and she didn’t see anyone stepping up against the current Atlantic Beach Mayor, Mitchell Reeves. Her platform is based on transparency and accountability.

“It started out just about being more efficient, and now it’s really about the vision for our city and the future,” Glasser said.  “I’m so excited because it’s been a grassroots effort and so many people in the community have lifted me up and given me support. It’s pretty exciting really.”

If she is elected mayor, Glasser doesn’t plan to leave UNF. She wants to continue teaching at UNF while managing Atlantic Beach.

The Atlantic Beach Primary Election is on Aug. 29. Photo by Hannah Lee

“If I’m elected, and I think it’s going to be a very close race, it really should have no impact on my classes at all. In fact, I hope that it adds value because I decided to get involved in my community and bring my experience in higher education and law enforcement into that arena in my city,” Glasser said. “I feel like it brings value to my city, but I also think it brings value to the students that I come in contact with in terms of doing things that will make a difference.”

Glasser stated that she did get permission from President John Delaney that she can run for office and work part time at UNF, as long as she complies with UNF policies.

The primary election is on Aug. 29 and Atlantic Beach residents can vote then. Glasser is running against Reeves and Milton Hall. Her campaign website can be found here.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].