Ellen Taaffe joined Kellogg’s Clinical Faculty in 2016 following decades of business leadership. She spent the bulk of her career in brand management rising to top VP/SVP/CMO roles in divisions of PepsiCo, Royal Caribbean and the Whirlpool Corporation. Following her corporate career, Ellen pivoted into a growth stage entrepreneurial venture for five years as President of Smith-Dahmer Associates, a boutique-consulting firm. Following SDA’s sale, she became an executive coach and expanded her work as a Board Director. Ellen serves on two public company boards, one private company board, is a chairperson of a Nominating and Governance Committee and holds several Board committee assignments.
During her career, she has won numerous awards, including winning the prestigious Gold and Silver Effie awards for Advertising Effectiveness with Business Impact, leading SDA to be named to the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing privately held company and being named to the “Directors to Watch” list by Directors & Boards Magazine in 2017. In 2016, she became a Board Leadership Fellow honored by the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Throughout her career, Ellen has always loved and excelled at coaching and developing leaders and frequently led teams to the highest engagement scores and business results within several companies. She is thrilled to be teaching Personal Leadership Insights, designing and delivering women’s leadership programming at Kellogg, and developing authentic leaders and inclusive workplaces.
Ellen received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management in 1997. She also holds a BS from the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business. Ellen lives in the Evanston area with her husband and two daughters.
Because the course focuses on self-awareness and relationships with others, students rely on interactions with each other to experience vulnerability and growth within an environment of safety and trust. Therefore, students will not receive a letter grade, but rather a "Pass" with 0.5 credits or a "No-Credit" on their transcript. The "Pass" designation will be given if the following requirements are met: 100% attendance (non-negotiable), completion of all assignments, honoring confidentiality, and active participation in class activities and discussions.
Please note that the 100% attendance policy is non-negotiable across all sections and instructors. Only bid on a section for which you are sure you can attend every class session. Review the abbreviated syllabus for that section to confirm the precise meeting dates.