Vice President and Practice Area Lead
Ellen Yount is a member of the executive management team, overseeing the firm’s public affairs efforts. She has served in a variety of senior leadership positions since joining MSI in 2007. Her technical work focuses on the intersection of democracy and governance with strategic communications. She has lived, worked and traveled extensively throughout the developing world, living in former Yugoslavia for nearly six years. She served as the country director for the International Republican Institute (IRI) in Serbia and Croatia during a historic period that ushered in democratic changes. Ellen returned to the U.S. to work as USAID’s chief spokesperson and director of media relations and subsequently as the Agency’s press director in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the intervention in Afghanistan and the Iraq war. For 13 years, she helped to guide the Agency’s overseas communications efforts as a senior advisor to the Legislative and Public Affairs Bureau at USAID.
Previously, Ellen served as former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge’s Press Secretary in the U.S. House of Representatives and later as his director of communications in Harrisburg. She is a former board member of the Society for International Development’s Washington, D.C. chapter and holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.