Ellen Platts headshot

Ellen Platts

Impact Assessment and Evaluation Specialist

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative



Ellen draws upon a background in mixed-methods social science research to support program teams, leaders, and faculty in data-informed learning, reflection, and forward-looking planning.

Before joining the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, Ellen completed her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Maryland, where her research focused on the uses of culture and heritage in urban development. Her work highlights the importance of city and nonprofit governance and collaboration in building equitable, sustainable, and thriving cities. Ellen’s research has also extended to issues of climate change mitigation and adaptation in heritage management, and program evaluation of graduate training fellowships focused on education at the food-energy-water nexus.

Prior to joining the department at UMD, she worked in the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where she supported interdisciplinary projects bringing together scientists, engineers, human rights practitioners, and policymakers. She also holds a master’s degree in applied anthropology from UMD and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago. An avid traveler and explorer, Ellen loves road trips, camping, and visiting new cities.

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