Vice President and Practice Area Lead
Ellen Yount has served in a variety of senior leadership positions at MSI for more than a decade. She is currently based in Warsaw, Poland, focused on Ukraine's reconstruction and recovery efforts and regional donor-funded activities.
During her 25+ year career in international development, she has focused on governance, strategic communications, capacity building and gender. 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 served 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 Board member of the Vermont Council of World Affairs; a global Ambassador for RefuSHE; a member of the Board of Trustees at Allegheny College; and the President and Founder of the One Connected Village Foundation, which invests in girls' and women's programs in East Africa and Vermont. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.