Mary Ellen Giess

Chief Innovation Officer

Mary Ellen oversees innovative and collaborative program opportunities with a focus on policy and bridgebuilding initiatives. Mary Ellen has served in various programmatic and strategic roles since joining IA in 2008, including managing our program partnership with the Obama White House, stewarding our five-year research partnership (IDEALS), and co-editing Educating about Religious Diversity: A Handbook for Student Affairs. She joined us after completing her Masters at Harvard Divinity School and earned her B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!). Mary Ellen’s on-campus experiences and Unitarian Universalist values inspire her work at IA. Outside of work, she can be found browsing cookbooks and navigating the agony and the ecstasy of parenting three daughters.

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