Ellen B. Kagen Waghelstein

Ellen B. Kagen Waghelstein is on the faculty of Georgetown University and Director of the Georgetown Leadership Program, a national learning and consultation effort on effective leadership and change management in complex systems change and community transformation for professionals and civic activists. She has over 25 years of experience training and facilitating at the national, state and local levels.  Ellen is also serving as senior leadership faculty for the ACHARAI fellowship program of the Shoshanna S. Cardin Leadership Development Institute. 

In addition to her extensive professional experience, Ellen has a wide range of significant lay leadership involvement at the local, national and international levels. She is a past chair of the National Young Leadership Cabinet of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and past national board chair of PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values. She served as secretary on the executive committee of Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA) and was national co-chair of the Lippman Kanfer Institute. In the summer of 2014, Ellen served as the inaugural senior community leader for the first ever collaborative mission between JWRP and the Jewish Federation system and created the pre mission curriculum and the role on the mission of philanthropic educator and coach. In her current role as a Vice President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington (JFGW) with the portfolio of Women’s Philanthropy she has championed the ongoing collaboration between JWRP and the Federation system both locally and nationally.  She also currently serves as co-chair of the JFGW strategic community-wide Teen Engagement and Philanthropy Task Force and serves on the boards of two innovative start-ups, Jewish Rock Radio and JChoice. Ellen served as the founding president of the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning, where she successfully integrated three separate organizations into one new entity. She also co-led the efforts to create a nationally recognized, community-wide, teen identity agency called JET (Jewish Experiences for Teens.)

Ellen and her husband David created and host Viral Shabbat at their home several times a year and in 2003 established the Waghelstein Family Hopes and Dreams Endowment Fund to further advance leadership opportunities for emerging teen and young adult leaders. Ellen, and David, CEO of MemberCar, live outside Washington, DC, in Annapolis, Maryland. They and their two children, Andrea (29) and Evan (26) are involved in a variety of civic engagement and community change activities.

Ellen holds an MSW in Social Strategy from the University of Maryland, a Certificate in Leadership from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University. She is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program and thrilled to be joining such a dynamic and innovative team.