Consultant. For the last 15 years, Ellen has served as the principal of Blue Sage Partners, a strategy consulting company that focuses on building high functioning teams. As a facilitator, she builds the trust and buy-in necessary to negotiate agreement on a shared direction. She works at the big picture level to delineate key strategic priorities and on the ground, to develop a tactical plan. A specialty in her practice is to develop leadership capacity and stronger teams while accomplishing a concrete business task, such as developing a strategic plan or drafting a funding proposal.
At an Ivy League university, she helped three academic departments each align around a shared vision and strategy for their department, to make key hires, allocate resources, and rebuild civility. She worked with the senior teams of two major Boston nonprofits to negotiate joint operating and marketing plans to optimize their merger. She designed and ran six annual staff retreats for a US Representative, helping to set priorities and build stronger systems and communication between the DC and District offices.
Teacher. In her career, she has taught leadership and strategy. She taught Adaptive Leadership™ to clients ranging from Boston School Superintendents to Georgia state representatives. As an Adjunct Professor, she designed and taught 10 mid-career, undergraduate classes in the Leadership Cohort Program of Northeastern University College of Professional Studies and a graduate course in nonprofit and public entity strategic planning to social workers at the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work.
Senior nonprofit manager. Before this, Ellen spent 10 years as a senior manager in three nonprofits, ranging from start-up to national. As Advisor to the Chair/CEO of Enterprise, she helped win and manage a $30 million loan and grant portfolio disbursed through 10 Enterprise offices to local community development corporations to create safe communities with affordable housing. As Vice President of the National Foundation for Affordable Housing Solution, she helped launch this nonprofit to preserve existing affordable housing. And as Project Director at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard, she spearheaded a successful effort, with Senators and top US and Soviet officials, to create a Crisis Management Center at the US State Department to prevent accidental nuclear war.
Education. Ellen has a BA in History and Women’s Studies from Dartmouth College, a Master in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, and a MBA from Stanford University. She recently participated in Stanford Business School’s Anti-Racism and Allyship Journey.
Board service and family. Ellen is currently the Chair of the Finance Committee for the Safe Passage Board in Guatemala; Chair of the Endowment Investment Subcommittee for the Safe Passage Board; and Chair/Co-founder of the Boston Regional Leadership Board of Stanford Business School Women’s Circles. Her joys include four children, one long marriage, and dancing, especially to Latin music.