Ellen Kahn (she/her) is the Senior Director of Programs and Partnerships at the Human Rights Campaign overseeing a portfolio of programs and projects aimed at improving the lives of LGBTQ youth and families, including Welcoming Schools, All Children-All Families, Project THRIVE, Parents for Transgender Equality, HIV and Health Equity, and the HBCU Program. In her 14+ years at HRC, Ellen has shaped innovative system-change work in child welfare, education, and healthcare. She is nationally recognized as an expert on LGBTQ family life, LGBTQ youth, and frequently writes and speaks on these topics for a wide variety of audiences.
A self-described trans-affirming, progressive lesbian feminist social worker, and mother of two wonderful daughters, Ellen has dedicated her career to improving the lives of LGBTQ people--from working on behalf of people with HIV/AIDS in the early days of the epidemic, to facilitating dozens of “Maybe Baby” groups for prospective LGBTQ parents. Before joining HRC, Ellen spent 12 years at Whitman-Walker Health (formerly Whitman-Walker Clinic), leading the Lesbian Services Program for eight of those years; in that role Ellen led the expansion of programs to meet the needs of the growing community of LGBTQ people prospective parents, and those already navigating life with children.
Following her departure from WWH in 2005, Ellen worked with a small group of dedicated volunteers to establish Rainbow Families as a non-profit; she was a founding Board member and served in that role for ten years, including a term as President. Ellen’s leadership and commitment helped Rainbow Families grow and diversify its membership, launch a successful conference, and add social events like the annual winter dance and the Pride parade contingent.
When she isn’t working to change the world, Ellen enjoys a drama-free domestic life with her lovely spouse, Judy. In her free time Ellen enjoys spinning, swimming, and running in Rock Creek Park, and with some reluctance, scrolling Facebook to stay informed and entertained.