Ellen serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the END Fund, working to see an end of the suffering caused by five neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affecting 1.5 billion people. The END Fund actively supports NTD programs with dozens of partners in more than 25 countries, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
Previously, she served as Operation Smile’s Senior Vice President for International Programs, managing programs to provide comprehensive care to children with cleft lips and cleft palates in over 60 countries in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. She led Operation Smile’s global public policy, collaboration and advocacy efforts to promote essential surgery as an integral component of global health policy and programming. Ellen worked on “health as a bridge to peace” initiatives bringing together Israeli and Palestinian surgeons and organizing medical programs in partnership with government, civil society and guerilla groups in conflict zones in Colombia.
As Director of International Operations for International Medical Corps (IMC), Ellen focused on international disaster response and delivery of medical care in complex humanitarian emergencies in over 20 countries. At IMC, she led the organization’s response to the East Asia Tsunami in 2004 and oversaw programs in Darfur, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ellen holds graduate degrees in International Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, with a focus on humanitarian affairs, and in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, with a focus on non-profit management and child rights. She has completed postgraduate studies in Conflict Resolution at Universidad de Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia.
Ellen currently serves on the board of the Legatum Institute, a London-based think tank that promotes policies that lift people from poverty to prosperity. She serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Health Security Advisory Board and Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases Stakeholders Working Group.
Ellen enjoys spending time with her daughter, who is in elementary school, and whenever possible fits in yoga, hiking, meditation, and helping her friends and colleagues with the many amazing causes they are involved in!
Ellen’s book, Under the Big Tree: Extraordinary Stories from the Movement to End Neglected Tropical Diseases, was published in January 2019 from Johns Hopkins University Press.