Ellen was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and is a proud graduate of the Pittsburgh Public School system. She then received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, spending a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Post-graduation, Ellen moved to Washington, D.C. for a job in Information Technology at the World Bank Group. Eager to shift focus to policy research and analysis, she returned to Pittsburgh for her master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. At CMU, Ellen was accepted into a work study program that allowed her to complete her degree while also working at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

After graduation, Ellen stayed on at DOJ’s Office of International Affairs as a Management Analyst to streamline the extradition and evidence exchange process between the U.S. and other nations. Prior to her move to the Raleigh area, Ellen completed a detail in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, where she specialized in using data analysis and academic research in tackle DOJ’s most pressing policy objectives.