Isa Ellis

Senior Program Officer
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Isa Ellis is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focused on expanding access to equitable education and employment pathways that lead to upward mobility for learners who have been historically and systemically marginalized. 

Isa’s more than 15 years in education includes brokering partnerships between the education, corporate, governmental, NGO & philanthropic sectors to increase access & funding for underserved youth. Isa holds a master’s degree in business administration & public administration from the University of Notre Dame and Baruch College.

Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, Isa was national vice president at the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA), launching the organization’s first national postsecondary and workforce development strategy. Isa’s background includes leading performance management and school turnaround at Chicago Public Schools, directing organizational growth at the Achievement Network, and brokering cross-sector partnerships as head of global education and workforce at the Clinton Global Initiative; where she facilitated the organization’s largest education commitment of more than $600M in investments to increase equity in girls’ education, globally. 

Isa serves on the boards of Digital Promise, Workforce Matters, UNCF Pacific Northwest, and Seattle Central College.