Ellen Short
Associate, Development and Investor Relations

I see fundraising like working on a puzzle. You have a goal and you have lots of data, and your work is to fill in the pieces and complete the puzzle.

If you look at my resume, all of my background is in law. I studied criminal justice in college and then worked at the attorney general’s office in South Carolina.

I think what stayed with me is just how easy it is for someone to get stuck on the wrong path. If you can step in and make a difference, it might be just one thing that changes their whole life. That’s amazing. Why would you not want to do that?

I like a big challenge, but the key to overcoming it is breaking it down. I think that also rings true at VPP. We are so team oriented in the way we tackle big projects.

I would describe myself as encouraging and honest. Also, a dog lover, Jeopardy whiz, and foodie.

I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, which isn’t too far away, but northern Virginia should be an entirely different state. Some people in Washington think I’m so Southern because I say “y’all.”

I am the middle child in a family of four kids. As a middle child, you learn to be the mediator and you know how to bring everyone together.

A lot of people who work in Washington, D.C. don’t actually live here. I live right down the street from the VPP office. I have an eight-minute walk to work, which is amazing. I love exploring my neighborhood.

If I had an extra hour every day, I would spend it reading. On my last vacation, I read four books in a row. Once I start, I can’t stop, but I never make time for reading on a regular day.

To really be in the trenches and actually putting your heads together for problem solving, I think that is really important. Not always easy, but important.