Ellen was one of the earliest graduates of Stuart and she took advantage of every opportunity to create connection and community while she was here. She found Stuart to be a welcoming environment for her boundless creativity. Her initiatives to implement a school store and establish the school’s first yearbook united the students in new and meaningful ways. She credits Stuart and its inspiring female faculty for encouraging her curiosity and giving her permission to be fearless and to try anything—lessons she carries with her to this day.
Ellen’s early career as a television journalist honed her talents as a reporter. She later put those skills to use, producing an award-winning television show, Balancing Your Life with Ellen Susman, focusing on work-life balance. The program was groundbreaking in its mission to address the choices and challenges women face juggling career, family, marriage, and motherhood. After the death of her sister Carol Spencer Mitchell, who also attended Stuart, Ellen edited and published “Danger Pay,” a memoir based on Carol’s journals as a photojournalist in the Middle East.
Ellen’s passion for art, theater, media, healthcare and women’s issues have led her to do meaningful work in each of those communities—not only throughout the United States but around the world. She served for three years as the director of the US Department of State Art in Embassies Program, a public-private partnership of American and international artists, collectors, galleries, foundations, museums and universities. She is currently active on many nonprofit boards and is president of the Susman Foundation, which supports a national progressive agenda in the areas of justice, the environment, and media.