Ellen Dorsey

Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund

Ellen Dorsey is Executive Director of the Wallace Global Fund, a private foundation focused on progressive social change in the fields of environment, democracy, human rights and corporate accountability. Under her leadership, the Fund is recognized globally for creative philanthropic strategies and mission-related investing. WGF’s model deploys finance as a tool for social change, alongside traditional grant making, to achieve higher impact.  Dorsey was awarded the 2016 inaugural Nelson Mandela – Graca Machel Brave Philanthropy Award for launching Divest-Invest Philanthropy, a coalition of over 170 foundations committed to aligning investments and grants to address the climate crises and accelerate the clean energy transition. She is also a founder of Shine, a global campaign committed to ending energy poverty by scaling access to distributed, renewable, and affordable energy for over a billion people who lack it today.

Dr. Dorsey came to Wallace Global Fund from a series of academic, philanthropic and non-profit leadership positions in the human rights and environmental fields, including serving as Executive Director at the Rachel Carson Institute, Director of the Human Rights and Environment program at Amnesty International, and Senior Program Officer in the Heinz Endowment’s Environment Program.

Additionally, she has served on the board of numerous non-profit organizations promoting human rights and sustainable development, including Greenpeace USA, the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the United States Human Rights Network, and Amnesty International USA, where she served as board chair.

Dorsey holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Pittsburgh.  She was a Fulbright Research Fellow in South Africa during that country’s historic transformation.  She served on the faculty of several Universities, teaching human rights and environmental sustainability. Dorsey has written extensively on effective strategies of non-governmental organizations and social movements and is co-author of New Rights Advocacy: Changing Strategies of Development and Human Rights NGOs, Georgetown University Press.