Meet GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis

Sarah Kate Ellis was named CEO & President of GLAAD in January 2014 after a successful career as an award-winning media executive and communications strategist.

In short order, Ellis has refocused GLAAD’s crucial advocacy to accelerate acceptance of the LGBT community through a variety of compelling and effective initiatives, campaigns and programs.  

A powerful communicator, Ellis has used GLAAD’s position as the nation’s leading media advocacy organization to demand and generate coverage of LGBT Russians during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Under her leadership, GLAAD worked closely with Facebook to expand the social network’s gender options to be more inclusive of transgender and gender non-conforming users. And during the 2014 World Cup, Ellis’ team led an effort to demand that FIFA address anti-LGBT slurs at the games, leading broadcasters ESPN and Univision to condemn such hateful language on the air to worldwide audiences.

Ellis’ team also successfully challenged the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade’s ban on LGBT participation, leading two major sponsors, Heineken and Guinness, to pull their support and ultimately bring inclusion to the historic celebration. She followed this effort with the culmination of a years-long partnership between GLAAD and Scouts for Equality to end the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay youth and adult leaders.

Behind the scenes, she has positioned GLAAD as a leading advisor to media executives when it comes to dealing with the world’s biggest LGBT-related stories, including Caitlyn Jenner’s historic coming out.

Ellis’ team served as a guiding hand throughout the news cycle surrounding Jenner’s historic announcement and subsequent publicity, from Jenner’s groundbreaking interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, to her Vanity Fair cover story, to her one-hour special and docu-series on the E! network. GLAAD has ensured fair and accurate media coverage that has reshaped the way people across the world see and understand the transgender community.

Ellis’ vision has expanded GLAAD’s international impact, working closely with campaigners on the ground in Ireland to help implement media strategies and best practices leading up to the country's successful marriage equality referendum.

Also in 2015, Ellis brought to life GLAAD’s groundbreaking “Accelerating Acceptance” report, a first-of-its-kind study that measures levels of LGBT acceptance in America beyond policy issues.

A forceful spokesperson for LGBT acceptance, Ellis’ commentary and statements have appeared in influential media including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, TIME, Vanity Fair and hundreds of other outlets. 

As an insightful expert on LGBT issues, Ellis has appeared on ABC News, Bloomberg, CNN, MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight and scores of other broadcasts.

Named one of Family Circles’ 20 most influential moms in 2015, Ellis ranked 20th on the Guardian’s World Power Pride list in 2014 and was named an Agent of Change by Washington D.C.’s largest LGBT publication, Metro Weekly.

Ellis co-authored a memoir with her wife, Kristen Ellis-Henderson, titled “Times Two, Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made," released by Simon & Schuster. The autobiography chronicled their simultaneous pregnancies and road to motherhood. The two were featured on the groundbreaking “Gay Marriage Already Won” cover of TIME Magazine.  They were the first same-sex couple to have their marriage ceremony performed in the Episcopal Church of New York State.

Prior to joining GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis led national media brands, notably growing Real Simple into one of Time Inc.’s most respected and successful magazines. Her vision also transformed and energized leading media outlets including Vogue, InStyle, New York, and House & Garden.  She served as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Martini Media, a digital firm specializing in online branding, public relations and marketing.

She earned seven MIN Awards for marketing innovation, two President’s Awards, and MIN’s Sales Executive Team of the Year award in 2012.

As co-chair of OUT at Time Inc., she led programming to spotlight the diversity of the LGBT community and educated the organization’s straight allies on a wide range of LGBT issues.

Ellis earned her B.A. from Russell Sage College and also attended the Tuck Executive Education program at Dartmouth.

Ellis and her wife Kristen are the proud mothers of two adorable children.  

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Media Information

Seth Adam
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8018


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