Ellen McDonnell is NPR's Executive Editor for News Programming, responsible for overseeing all of NPR's news programs: Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, Tell Me More and Weekend Edition.
With over 30 years of experience at NPR, McDonnell guides, advises and sets the direction of NPR's daily and weekly news programming. Prior to her current role she was the director of morning programming.
A 2012 Columbia University Punch Sulzberger Fellow, McDonnell also received the 2009 Public Radio Regional Organizations Award for her contributions to public radio. While under her leadership, Morning Edition was honored with the prestigious 1999 George Foster Peabody award for outstanding journalism.
McDonnell served as the Executive Producer of NPR's premier morning news magazine, Morning Edition from 1998-2007. During that time she oversaw a major transformation and expansion of the 24-hour staff, and led the program into its current two host/two coast format. McDonnell initiated and developed fresh and original approaches to news coverage on the show, including instituting seven hours of continual Morning Edition news updates each day.
In 1979, McDonnell came to NPR to be a news writer. Two years later, she became the on-line producer for Morning Edition, working overnights for the next five years. Eventually she took on the role of senior producer for the program.
Before coming to NPR, McDonnell was a news reporter at NPR member station WAMU-FM in Washington. She has also worked at commercial radio and television stations.
A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, McDonnell has a degree in communications. She earned a Masters of Arts degree in public affairs journalism from American University in Washington, D.C.