Theresa Ellis ’97 Named Director of Center for Service


Theresa Ellis ’97 has been named the director of the Dartmouth Center for Service, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Inge-Lise Ameer announced today.

Ellis, who has served two years as interim dean of the William Jewett Tucker Foundation, will begin her new position immediately.

Theresa Ellis in her office

Theresa Ellis ’97 (Photo courtesy of Theresa Ellis)

“Theresa’s experience as an undergraduate at Dartmouth, as a leader in the nonprofit world, and as interim dean of the Tucker Foundation makes her uniquely qualified to take on the new center’s important work of preparing our students to lead lives of purpose through service in the nonprofit sector,” Ameer says.

In 2014, the board of trustees voted to refocus the work of the Tucker Foundation by creating two new centers—the Dartmouth Center for Service and the William Jewett Tucker Center.

Ellis says she is excited about expanding the opportunities for service learning and volunteerism at Dartmouth and for preparing students to become leaders across the nonprofit sector, from social services to social enterprises to philanthropy.

“I see that this generation of college students has a powerful interest in effecting lasting social change. They are hungry to learn how to connect what they are learning in the classroom to the world around them in a tangible, practical way,” she says.

“Some may want to learn how to build a career in the nonprofit world, some may have a vision for social entrepreneurship, and some may see the opportunity to volunteer as a way to enrich their lives,” she says. “The Dartmouth Center for Service is a resource for exploring all these paths.”

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Ellis is founder and former CEO of Common Impact, a nonprofit that partners with Fortune 500 companies to help professionals use their professional skills in service of their communities. She has served as the Gleitsman Visiting Practitioner at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she has served as “entrepreneur in residence” for students interested in social entrepreneurship.

As interim dean of the Tucker Foundation for the past two years, Ellis has led the process begun at the direction of then-Acting Provost Martin Wybourne to reassess the structure of the Tucker Foundation.

“As a result of her creative engagement with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members throughout that process, we are poised to establish a new approach to service and service learning at Dartmouth—building partnerships locally, nationally, and globally to address social issues,” Ameer says.

In addition to her work as director of the Center for Service, Ellis will be interim dean of the William Jewett Tucker Center. Along with Prasad Jayanti, the James Frank Family Professor of Computer Science, Ellis will co-chair the search for the new dean and chaplain of the Tucker Center.

Recruitment for the position will begin this fall.

Bill Platt