Community of Practice

Ellen B. Kagen, M.S.W.

Ellen KagenMs. Ellen B. Kagen is on the faculty as a Senior Policy Associate of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development where she directs the Georgetown Leadership Program, a national leadership learning and consultation effort for professionals and families in the field of health, education and human services. She also is the editor of their leadership training curriculum which focuses specifically on the leadership role in systems change and transformation. In addition, Ms. Kagen is an accomplished consultant specializing in leadership development for senior executives and leadership teams to improve their effectiveness in accomplishing personal, organization and system goals. As a highly skilled and dynamic facilitator, trainer and consultant, she has over 25 years experience working in the field of children’s services and collaboration at the national, state and local levels utilizing her expertise in leadership development, interagency integration, managing collaborative change processes and strategic community planning.

At the heart of Ms Kagen’s work is a focus on innovation and creation of breakthrough strategies that sustain the evolution of constructive change. To support individual leaders, Ms. Kagen and her colleagues created an innovative new coaching and consultation model called Transformation Facilitation which strengthens leadership effectiveness in reaching system and organizational goals. In addition, at the national level, she played an instrumental role in the founding of the federal Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP) and the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families program and at the state level was recently honored by Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri for her role in bringing innovation to State Government by utilizing the public health approach to children's social and emotional well being.  In her role as a civic activist Ms. Kagen is the inaugural recipient to of the International BBYO One Voice Award which honors her leadership in enhancing youth engagement and activism in communities around the world.
Prior to her work at Georgetown University, Ms. Kagen served as the Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s, Mental Health Services Program for Youth (MHSPY) and the Deputy Director of the National Resource Network (NRN) for Child and Family Mental Health Services at the Washington Business Group on Health and the Children’s Division Director for the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD).

Ms. Kagen has worked across a broad spectrum of organizations and agencies that support children and families and strengthen communities including the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Washington State Department of Children’s Behavioral Health,  New Jersey Division of Health and Mental Health, Maryland State Department of Education, Greater Miami Federation, Missouri Health Foundation/Show Me Bright Futures Initiative, Florida Department of Health, Michigan Ingham County System of Care, Shoshana S. Cardin Leadership Development Program, University of Utah’s National Institute for Child Welfare Leadership Initiative (NICWLI), Iowa Department of Children’s Services,  Oregon Children’s Commission and the US Afghan Women’s Council.

Ms. Kagen holds an MSW in Social Strategy from the University of Maryland and a Certificate in Leadership from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In 2013, Ms. Kagen received her International Leadership Coaching Certification (ICF). She is a proud Wexner Foundation Leadership Fellow (2005) and is the co-author of two chapters in the “Leadership Equation” edited by Blau and Magrab, entitled Leadership Function and Styles and The Work of Leadership in Systems Change published by Brooks in 2010. She and her husband David, live outside Washington, DC where they and their two children, Andrea and Evan, are involved a variety of community and social change initiatives

Ms. Kagen can be reached at (301) 651-9850