Sarah Kate Ellis was named President and CEO of GLAAD in early 2014 after a successful career as a media executive. In short order, Ellis refocused GLAAD’s crucial advocacy to accelerate acceptance of the LGBTQ community through a variety of compelling and effective initiatives, campaigns, and programs.
A powerful communicator, Ellis has used GLAAD’s position as the world’s leading media advocacy organization to demand fair and accurate coverage of the LGBTQ community. Ellis also commissioned GLAAD’s annual Accelerating Acceptance report, providing a window into national sentiment towards the LGBTQ community. As more states have introduced discriminatory bills Ellis has fought against them, notably getting prominent figures from the music industry in Nashville to speak out against a pair of Tennessee bills and calling on Hollywood studios to speak out against a similar bill in Georgia. She ensured that national and local media would be held accountable when reporting on Caitlyn Jenner, while GLAAD also provided resources to journalists and media organizations following Jenner’s prominent Diane Sawyer interview. Ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, Ellis used GLAAD’s position to ask the Pope to meet with and welcome LGBT Catholics during his visit.
Ellis also understands the importance of being on the ground where it matters most. Under her leadership, GLAAD has traveled to many states in the U.S. South to meet with LGBTQ leaders and community members, as part of Southern Stories. Ellis also launched GLAAD’s first international operation in London as a springboard to increase GLAAD’s international work. Most recently, Ellis traveled to Orlando to be on the ground after the massacre at Pulse nightclub, assisting victims’ families and holding media accountable.
A forceful spokesperson for LGBTQ 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. A thought leader in the space, Ellis has spoken about the crucial impact of GLAAD at Princeton, University of California Berkeley, the Public Relations Society of America, and more.
Ellis was included on Variety’s 2016 New Power of New York List, a collection of 50 movers and shakers who are upending the entertainment business in Manhattan and beyond. Named one of OUT Magazine’s OUT100 in 2015, Ellis was also one of Family Circles’ 20 most influential moms in 2015, 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 LGBTQ community and educated the organization’s straight allies on a wide range of LGBTQ 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.