ED-S 2020 Photo for Talks

Ellie Drago-Severson is Professor of Education Leadership and Adult Learning & Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. A developmental psychologist, Ellie teaches, conducts research, and consults to schools and districts, school and district leaders, teacher leaders, coaches. and organizations on:

• professional and personal growth and learning;
• leadership that supports principal, teacher, school, and leadership development; and
• coaching and mentoring in K–12 schools, university settings, and other educational contexts domestically and internationally.

She is also an internationally certified Immunity to Change and leadership coach who works with coaches, superintendents, principals, assistant principals, teacher leaders, and other leaders to build internal capacity and achieve goals. Her work is inspired by the idea that schools must be places where adults and children can grow, and she is dedicated to creating the conditions to achieve this and to helping leaders and educators of all kinds to do the same on behalf of supporting adults and youth.

At Teachers College, Ellie is the Director of the PhD Program in Education Leadership. She also works extensively with aspiring and practicing scholars, principals, superintendents, and coaches across departments and programs—including TC’s Summer Principals Academy, the Urban Educators Leaders doctoral Program for aspiring district leaders, the Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Leaders, and the Leadership Institutes for School Change—a series of professional learning experiences she directs and co-facilitates.

Ellie is also the author of the best-selling books Helping Teachers Learn (Corwin, 2004) and Leading Adult Learning (Corwin/The National Staff Development Council, 2009)—as well as Becoming Adult Learners (Teachers College Press, 2004) and Helping Educators Grow (Harvard Education Press, 2012). She is a co-author of Learning for Leadership (Corwin, 2013), Learning Designs (Corwin, 2014) and the bestseller, Tell Me So I Can Hear You (Harvard Education Press, 2016). Her latest book, Leading Change Together (co-authored with Jessica Blum-DeStefano), was recently released in January 2018 (ASCD). Currently, she and co-authors Pat Maslin-Ostrowski and Jessica Blum-DeStefano are writing Leaders’ Internal Experiences with Challenge and Change (Corwin, forthcoming), which is based on their longitudinal, mixed-methods research with leaders domestically and internationally. In addition—along with co-authors Jessica Blum-DeStefano and Deb Brooks-Lawrence—Ellie is examining how leaders’ internal capacities influence the ways they lead on behalf of social justice and equity. This research—The self in social justice. The promise of a developmental lens on race, identity, and transformation (Corwin/Sage, forthcoming)—aims to articulate a developmental continuum that can help leaders and those who prepare them grow the growers of a more equitable future.

As a teacher and scholar, Ellie’s work has been recognized by and supported with awards from the Spencer Foundation, the Klingenstein Foundation, and Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she served as faculty member for eight years. While serving at Harvard, Ellie was awarded the Morningstar Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Dean’s award for Excellent in Teaching. Most recently, Ellie received three outstanding teaching awards from Teachers College. She has earned degrees from Long Island University (BA) and Harvard University (EdM, EdD and Post-Doctoral Fellowship). She grew up in the Bronx, New York.
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2 thoughts on “Biography

  1. mysticpoet108 says:

    Dear Ellie,

    Congratulations on such a remarkable career thus far in the field of education and adult learning. You look great! I was thinking about you today and feeling you in my heart. I know that the students you’ve taught have been fortunate to have you as a teacher..and I imagine that you’ve learned a lot from them as the best teachers are eternal students remaining open to life long learning. If you do read these words, it is my hope that this day finds you well. If you are ever open to talking on the phone or skyping let me know at my email:

    with love and appreciation,

  2. Laxmi Bhatta says:

    Congratulation !!!!!!!
    on your teaching profession & education leadeship and adult learning programme at Teacher college.
    Wow !!!!
    What a work ethic & dedication to creating a beautiful condition to achieve goal and helping leader empowerment,Espicially adult and youth across the world.

    Salute for your remarkable career & distinguished leadership, and revolutionary step in Education.All the best everystep in your life. contratulation in advance for your oncoming book 2017…
    Best of Luck !!!

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