Mary Ellen Russell was appointed Executive Director of the Maryland Catholic Conference in November 2008. Russell has also served as an associate director and deputy director of the Conference since joining the staff in 1995, focusing primarily on coordinating legislative advocacy efforts affecting Maryland’s Catholic and other nonpublic schools.
Russell is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Catholic Conference Directors, and serves on the board of Archbishop Spalding High School and Project Bridges. She is a past member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, the board of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, and past co-chair of the Maryland State Superintendent’s Nonpublic Schools Workgroup. Russell also worked for several years as Assistant Secretary for Parental Advocacy at the USCCB.
Russell holds an M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis, and a B.A. in English from Boston College. She and her husband live in Annapolis, where they have raised four sons. Her husband is a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and serves at St. Mary's Parish in Annapolis.