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Ellen McCulloch-Lovell has just completed eleven years as the eighth and first female president of Marlboro College, an institution of liberal studies and graduate programs in the foothills of the Green Mountains in southeastern Vermont. She started her career as program director, then executive director, of the Vermont Arts Council, the state cultural agency, from 1970-83. She served as U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy’s chief of staff in Washington, D.C., from 1983-94, during which time she supervised the D.C. and Vermont offices and performed as his political designee.
In 1994, Ellen was appointed Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, a presidential advisory committee, working with chairman and former Congressman John Brademas and with honorary chair Hillary Rodham Clinton. In 1997, she joined First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s staff, first as deputy chief of staff then as director of the White House Millennium Council, where she and Mrs. Clinton created Save America’s Treasures, the first major preservation program in twenty years. After the White House, Ellen went to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to found the Veterans History Project, collecting the first-hand accounts of those who served in wartime.
Ellen has published numerous articles and speeches on the arts, education, and the cultural history of Vermont. She has participated on National Endowment for the Arts grants panels and testified before Congress on behalf of public funding for cultural life. She also served on the Board of Regents of the American Architecture Foundation, the National Science Foundation’s Biology Advisory Committee, and on the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges. She continues her civic engagement as chair of the Smithsonian’s Advisory Committee for the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and as a board member of Vermont Parks Forever, the Warren Wilson Friends of Writers, and The Frost Place. Her first book of poems, Gone, was published by Janus Press in 2010.
Ellen and her husband Dr. Christopher Lovell live in Montpelier, VT, not far from their son Evan, daughter-in-law Kristi, and three grandchildren, who are based in Stowe.